I've Set My Eyes On Ijebu East LG Seat As Next Chairman - Prince Igbodipe Olumide - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Sunday, June 21, 2020

I've Set My Eyes On Ijebu East LG Seat As Next Chairman - Prince Igbodipe Olumide

... Describes Governor Dapo Abiodun As A Great Achiever Devoid Of Noise Making 
                                  • Igbodipe

Igbodipe Olumide Fidelis is a - four - fold Prince from the Ajalorun of Ijebu-Ife stool,  Magunsen of Itamarun, Ijebu-Imusin stool,  the Obelu of Esure, Ijebu-Imusin stool, and a Prince from the Awujale of Ijebuland stool - all in Ogun State. He is a grassroot progressive politician dating back to the time of the Alliance for Democracy, a known child protector, social activist and devout Catholic Christian. In this exclusive interview with the Daily Crucible, he bares his ambition to occupy the Seat of the Ijebu East Local Government (LGA) with the support of the good people of the area and his political party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming LGA elections in Ogun State. 

You’re so passionate about the welfare of people, justice and progress. Where do you draw strength for this ?

I thank God who has so desire to use me as a tool in this regard and endow me to do His will. From my youth, I witnessed my parents show kindness to people and I will say that was where I caught the fire to seek the welfare of others. I was also influenced by the philanthropic gestures of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola when he was alive  and had wanted to be like him. I dislike seeing or hearing people being cheated or denied their rights. I so distaste people who pride themselves in using position and power to oppress the weak. And the Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Ngoyi, CICM has also been my  mentor, a factor and light that propels  me to stand firm in the  this struggle for Justice and welfare for the weak. I am convinced that God created man in his own image . I strive to preserve God's image in people and so stand by their cause.
Ijebu  East is my Local Government and for us as a people in Ijebu East, to further enjoy sustained, genuine care and welfare, we need value re-orientation for all and sundry. I'm passionate about it. Government needs to have a human face. Our leaders should be people oriented and live a life of service. 

You are also interested in the progress and development of Ogun State as much as in  your area too. Has Ogun East fared better in the last 8 years?

Development should be integral and all encompassing. We are talking about human capital development, physical development, emotional development, spiritual development, social-economic development etc. It is when we have all these embeded in our community that we can talk of genuine development. In the eight years of the last administration, these were noticeable in Ogun central of the State and they are better off. Ogun East senatorial district did not witness a fair share in this respect. Sure, government is continuum and our leaders can strive towards being fair to the three senatorial districts  and all fairness, this present government has demonstrated so far in the last 365 days, its commitment to even development of the state.

Can you tell where your political leaning is. Do you belong to any political party and do you harbour any political ambition?

I am a political animal and a political analyst and from time to time, I have poked my nose in politics. My parents were politicians of high repute and played their roles well. I am a member of the  All Progressive Congress (APC). I have been of the stock of the progressives from decades back. I have set my eyes to serve as the Chairman, Ijebu-East Local Government with the help of God, support of the good people Ogun East and our great party, APC in order to do great exploit for the good of all in Ijebu East.

Why has it become difficult for Ijebu East to develop as it ought to, given her abundant human and natural resources?

Underdevelopment is not peculiar to Ijebu- East alone. It is a national challenge and we as a nation and as a local government are evolving. Very visible and tangible development is coming to manifest. We have had leaders who actually have done their bits and their names are boldly written on the rock. Power play has taken a toll on the development of the local government to an extent but something has to be done to change the narrative. We have to
priotize  our needs and work across all divides irrespective of party leanings to  help  nurture  the growth and development we desire in our  local government. And having the political goodwill to do the needful will also go a long way to take Ijebu East to its el-dorado. The potentials and resources should be harnessed for the common good of all and sundry. That is why I'm making myself available to serve our people honourably at the Local Government level as the incoming Chairman with the help and support of God, the good people of the LGA, our preat party(APC) and leaders. I will deply agriculture cum small and medium scale businesses to drive growth and development. We will create an enabling environment for businesses to sprout and thrive. Banking service should return to the local government and do their business. A condusive business environment needs to be created to enable young entrepreneurs to evolve.

What step should be taken now or in future to reverse or arrest the unfortunate situation. And what roles do you think the LGA, traditional rulers and youths in your area can play in this matter?

Right leadership. Just put the right leadership in place. The process of selecting or appointing  people into positions of authority, influencers needs to be meticulously done so that only the best should be put forward to represent the people for the good of all. A lot of background checks needs to be done so that we don’t have people who will keep doing what they have been doing before and arriving at the same result we have been getting. In some cases, some of our people cannot and should not be repeated in positions of power. The traditional institutions have a lot to do here if we want our local government to grow. They have a role in security, maintenance of streets, commerce and industries as well as bringing back our core values as Yorubas. Any nation or society  that fails to develop and harness the enormous resources and potentials of her youths is doomed to fail. Where is the place of the “youths in agriculture”, “youths in commerce and industry,”  youths in technology,” youths in sports” etc?

 What is your assessment of the present administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State in the last one year and in what ways do you think he can correct the alleged uneven development of the State by the immediate past administration?

Foremost, I bless God who have created this man, Prince Dapo Abiodun, endowed him massively and enthroned him as the Executive Governor of Ogun State. He is Omoluabi personified. He is a swift and a great achiever. His government has been calm, focused, devoid of noise making and distractions. There are visible results to show to his credit. I am very proud to have supported and worked for him. He has striven to balance the dividends of democracy in the three senatorial districts of the State. He has set his priorities rights and meticulously going about achieving them. We can see his magical touch and transformation in the education sector, the health sector, the agricultural sector. You can see a marked improvement in our environment. You can imagine how in less than six months in office,  budget process and documents have been in public domain, thereby, making governance system transparent. I can continue to count on and on. It can only be God. I cannot but thank his parents that raised him to be so responsible and humane.
In correcting the uneven development of the last eight years, my brother it is going to be a bit dicey. He would not want to become unpopular and accused of the same mistake made by his predecessor. Abeokuta is the centre and the capital of the State, he will have no choice than to continue the developmental work he is doing there. Ogun West is the commercial nerve of the State and densely populated. He cannot but continue to do the developmental projects he is doing there. Ogun East is strategically located as economic, educational and social hub of Ogun State which unfortunately did not enjoy the deserved and desired government patronage in the recent past. Mr. Governor will have no choice than to do his bits here too. I am not the governor but I will  adopt the approach of 35%/ 35% and 30% ratio regrading even development agenda for the state's three Senatorial districts if I were in his shoe.

 How can the citizens help enthrone quality governance in the State?

 The civil society should come to terms and reality that they are affected by the government and hence take serious concern in deciding who represent and leads them as Governor, lawmakers and Council Chairmen. All aspirants to elective positions should be subjected to public debate and given the opportunity to speak to what they want to do when they get into office and how to get the work done. There should be a development committee in each of the communities in the local government that will come up with development plans for their various communities. The plans should encompass short, medium and long term with emphasis on all communities’ peculiarities. They must develop indices of growth and have indicators to monitor and evaluate their plans. These plans can be put forward during the town halls in the preparation of the local government so that government can priotise its plans and actions tailored to the needs of the people. There should be a platform where all elected officers will be made to give a feedback on their stewardship twice in a year. This should be a face-to-face interaction. Government at the Local Government level should be able to give a monthly account of its stewardship at least in a release or newsletter. Any responsible government will put in place a feedback mechanism to access his government. The mechanism should not be politicized or anchored by career officers.
Presently at the State government level, one can see how our government is working; the direction the government is going. A click on the Ogun State government portal will give lots of information and windows of opportunity that abound. It also speaks to works done, work in progress etc. The government is also very active on the social media handles where people engage its activities and projects. It is one of the  medium through which government takes feedback.

 And if you have the opportunity to become LG Chairman, what will be your priority projects and how will you execute them in this era of financial crunch?

I have already prepared that in a hand book and for the purpose but I will itemise the salient ones here in this manner: (a) Agriculture, Employment generation and social-Economic Integration
                  (b) Establishment of Ijebu-East poverty reduction scheme and sunrise bulk purchase scheme
                   © Social infrastructure development (markets, abattoirs, street lights, etc) and road rehabilitation
                   (d) Security and peace building
                   (e) Enhanced Primary Health Care, mobile clinic and improved primary education
                  (f) Child, Youths, Aged, Women and People living with disability program
                  (g) Massive water, Hygiene, sewage and Sanitation program
I have produced a handbook on “My covenant with the people of Ijebu-East Local Government”. A more detailed approach to achieving the above is contained in that handbook 


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