APM capable of winning elections in Ogun, says Oyefeso
Ogun State Allied Peoples Movement (APM) chieftain, Misbaudeen Adewole Oyefeso contesting to represent Ijebu Central at the House of Representatives spoke to SHAKIRAH ADUNOLA on his agenda and expectations of electorate on their federal lawmakers.
Why did you dump All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest under the Allied People’s Movement (APM)?
I can say clearly that I am a progressive. I don’t want to leave the circle of the progressives but there was factionalisation and all attempts made to resolve the issues were unfruitful. I even contested House of Representatives primaries in the APC. There was an agreement signed between the leaders witnessed by national leadership of the party but it could not be implemented, but because of my passion to turn around things in my constituency, I decided to go to APM to realise my ambition.
Secondly, in the act of legislation, you don’t even need to be a lawyer to move a motion to convert it to a bill and at the end of the day, make it a law, but he did not do that so, he has not been able to carry out his legislative duties.
The third one, which I consider the most important, let me say the most cerebral and the most morally recognised and is what you call being able to have an oversight function over the executive. Of course, this is a democracy that involves checks and balances and one of the ways to have checks and balances is the oversight function provision. Of course, if the House makes legislation or appropriation, you have a duty to also supervise the amount you have appropriated for a ministry. So the best he can do is to ensure that he monitors the execution of projects and report appropriately to the chamber and to your constituency. He has not been able to do that and that is why I believe I should be able to make a difference and add value to the members of my constituency.
What are the yearnings of the people in your constituency?
One, we have a serious shortage of federal projects in my constituency. As we speak, we don’t have any federal hospital in the entire local government. The one we have is in Abeokuta and I have been there before to patronise them. It is over-patronised. They are trying but imagine if we have a federal hospital in my constituency, the only general hospital we have there at the state level was established around 1972-73, because we were lucky to have the Secretary to the Western Region, the late P.T Odumosu. I have also been to that hospital before. If you look at the labour room, you will be scared in terms of rate dereliction and dilapidation.
Personally, I have bought fans for the entire rooms there and I have also made the Muslim community do paintings and some other things there. Some individuals too have also supported that place in terms of fixing the ceilings and some other infrastructures there, yet it is still in a serious state of dilapidation. For so many years, there was no light in that place. Three years ago, I was visiting Ijebu to change my voter card to my constituency, I had an accident, I had to go to that hospital for first aid and nobody was there. I got there around 4:30 p.m. the only Nurse on duty was an auxiliary nurse who couldn’t do anything. She only did one or two prescriptions, which could not help.
We have two secondary schools in my town; one was established in 1960/61, Aiyepe Comprehensive High School. I didn’t go to that school but the alumni gave me an award because I established the first Computer Science Laboratory in the school before the state government decided to be assisting with N200 per student. No single science teacher in that school as we speak. The other school was established around 1984, no single science teacher in that school too. We have to establish the first Muslim private secondary school in that place to be able to graduate science students. We engaged youth corpers, they were all living in my house. Muslin community was giving the corpers N10,000 monthly as a supplement. I asked the principal of the government school, why didn’t you engage the corpers? He said the school could not afford the N10,000 that the Muslim community was paying the corpers.
If you go to their laboratory, it is in a serious state of disrepair, the laboratory was built as far back as 1960/61, it is of high standard, but termites have eaten all the tables.
What is your message to the electorate?
We must get it right this time; we must vote for somebody who is passionate about the development of the constituency; we must vote for somebody who is honest.
I have been the chairman of my Muslim community for more than 10 years now and my community has the biggest mosque in the whole of Nigeria. If we had not run the mosque well, I would not have been retained. I was an electoral commissioner in Lagos for about 10 years and I was also the chairman of the commission for about six months.
When I was there, I was the Chairman of Operations and Logistics for elections. We had three local government elections, the best in the country so far and I was the brain behind those three elections. I was once a consultant to the Ogun State governor on election matters. It was during my tenure as the consultant that the government created 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) for Ogun State, which brought governance to the grassroots.
In Odogbolu, we had three local governments. If the present government had retained the 57 LGA/LCDAs created by Ibikunle Amosun’s administration, we would have witnessed development across the councils. Under Amosun’s government, we moved the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N700 million to N7.4 billion. I understand the present government has been lackadaisical about IGR and we are back to N4.3 billion. So if I’m there, I would be able to fix and influence so many developmental projects.