K1 de Ultimate donates PAS for grassroots mobilisation in Lagos
AS a great musician, Alhaji Wasiu Olasunkanmi Ayinde Marshal popularly known as K1 de Ultimate has contributed immensely to the development of the entertainment industry in Nigeria through his genre of music, Fuji. The Talazo fuji crowner who elevated the genre and made it appealing to young ones has built network of fans at home in Nigeria and overseas. But he also deployed his creative prowess and musicality as instrument of political engagements. The Fuji King has always pit his tent politically with the progressives and today he is active within the circle of the main opposition party in the country, All Progressive Party (APC). His love for party politics and deepening of democratic culture especially in Lagos State took another dimension on January 18, 2015 when he presented Public Address System (PAS) and thousands of wristbands (with pictogram of the presidential and gubernatorial candidates of APC) to 377 wards in Lagos State.
The occasion held at the APC secretariat on ACME road, off Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos was carnival-like as party leaders, officials, government functionaries as well as supporters from across the state were around to witness the presentation ceremony. Interacting with journalists shortly before the take-off of the event, Alhaji Wasiu the donation was motivated by his passion for bridging the gap between the government and the people especially in the area of information dissemination and mobilisation.
“I am a party man. In the last 16 years, I have been part and parcel of good governance in Lagos and Nigeria at large. The donation of Public Address System (PAS) to 377 wards in Lagos State is not too much to be given back to a party that I believe so much in. I believe so much in this party. It is the party of the people, and my relationship with party politics as a democrat has been for over 40 years. This is what I believe in regardless of anything, more so, as a Nigerian, I have the right of affiliation as well as association. That is my stand and no apology.”
On the choice of the items, he said, “we are talking about grassroots mobilisation, and to me, PAS fits in perfectly. We need to do something that touches the grassroots. The PAS is meant for the ward. It is a public address system that has capacity to work for between 48 and 72 hours without electricity power supply. So, people can use it in the rural areas. If they were able to charge it for about two hours, it can be used for about 72 hours, so the question of lack of electricity power supply is no longer tenable. And it has many in-built facilities. As PAS, it comes with a microphone, and besides, it has audio-visual facilities whereby recorded messages (audio and visual) can be played back for people, especially when certain information is to be passed across to people at the grassroots. For instance, if Mr. Governor wanted to make a statement and it is already in a tape, which is sent to all the 377 wards for people to get the message. The PAS facilitates reaching out to people at the grassroots so fact, thereby enhancing people’s participation in the decision making process, which is the hallmark of democracy. This donation is not the first and it will not be the end. From time to time, I will be intervened to bridge the gap between the government and the governed in the area of information dissemination, awareness creation and mobilisation for government policies and programmes. I continue to contribute to the party and the cause of good governance in the state, in addition to making myself and my God-given talent available for the progress of the party and the advancement of Lagos State as well as Nigeria. As a democrat, I participate actively at every election, reaching out to the people through my music and other contributions. Indeed, I am a beneficiary of good governance as well, so, this donation is a way of giving back to the party and the society. Our party members across the 377 wards in the state are the beneficiaries of the PAS. Each for each ward. It enables them to reach out to one another.”
On whether is contemplating convincing his colleagues to do similar thing, he said, “the donation is an individual thing and it is matter of choice. It is my personal decision. I do not want to speak on behalf of anybody. Neither will I force anybody. Not even my children I could force! It is democracy. You have the right to do whatever you feel is good for your party. You can force anybody to do this kind of thing. I am doing this on personal conviction.”
The fuji musician has a message for Lagosians about the forthcoming election. His words: “Nigerians should know that the forthcoming election is important for many reasons. Nigerians are not feeling the impact of good governance, especially at the national level. That is the reality. Only liars will say otherwise. Nigeria of 30 years ago is far better than what we have today. The rate at which people travel abroad to stay and work there was not as crazy then as it is today, simply because of failure of governance. As a global musician who has toured every part of the world, I always encounter Nigerians abroad and when you ask them why are you here? The answer is always ‘when I do not have something doing at home, I would rather stay here, sweeping ground, than to return to Nigeria doing nothing’. You can imagine as bad as it is! People are simply suffering. Education system is not working. Nothing works! I am speaking as a Nigerian who sees things in the last 40 years clearly. I have been a party person for a long time since my youth age. I had served (voted) as an executive official of the youth wing of a party in Nigeria when I was barely 18 years old. My history as politician is not just an overnight thing. I had worked at the secretariat of the Unity Party of Nigeria, when Chief Ebenezer Babatope was the Director of Organisation. I was an office boy under him.”