My Mission To Lagos Assembly


Engr. David Akande is vying for the Lagos State House of Assembly on the platform of Labour Party. A graduate of St. Lawrence College of Applied Technology, Brockville, Ontario, Canada in 1982, he was a former General Secretary of ACN in Alimosho Local Government Area. In this interview with Ufforth Shallom, he speaks on his readiness for 26 April election, Fashola’s performance in Lagos and other issues


You are seeking election into the Lagos State House of Assembly on the platform of Labour Party. Why LP?

Labour Party has a grassroots manifesto and the motto of the party is Equal Opportunity and Social Justice. It is a family party. It is a party of democrats a party of progressives. For your information, Labour Party cuts across nations of the world. The party is a popular party – a party of workers, a party that takes care of people’s welfare.


But the party is not popular in Lagos State?

That is not true. As a matter of fact, Labour Party contested in 2007. Let me remind you that honourable Segun Adewale contested for the House of Assembly on the platorm of LP for the Alimosho Constituency 01 in 2007 and if not by reasons best known to those that perfected the evil work, he would have won over Adelabu Onibiyo of the then Action Congress AC.


Why did Adewale decamp if the Labour Party is formidable as you want us to believe or would you say that Segun Adewale is politically unstable?

Hon. Adewale’s reasons for leaving the party is best known to him. He is in a better position to answer that question. Some political gladiators of the ruling party in Lagos State use a lot of effective mechanism like coercion to draw in their supposed enemy into their palour and later on deal with them according to their whims and caprices. He left LP for Action Congress, AC. Later on, he left AC for PDP. Be mindful of the fact that the former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro, contested on the platform of LP in 2007 for the governorship of Lagos State. Adewale may have his reasons for leaving LP for PDP. It could be as a result of party dissapointment. Don’t forget that he is not the only one that has been on this adventure. Nigerian politicians have permanent interests — where their interest can best be served politically.


How prepared are you and your party for this election?

I have been a grassroots politician and I’m well prepared. Since I decided to leave AC in February 2010 because of what political gradiators call anti-party activities for not supporting a sitting governor in Lagos State, I have quietly moved around my constituency to discuss with stakeholders and individuals. So, I have prepared the ground for the ultimate.


What structures do you have on ground to ensure your victory at the end of the day?

The structure is Labour Party. We have enough structures on ground to capture any election in Lagos State. I mean we have the structure to win any free and fair election. The last National Assembly election was a pointer to that fact but because of certain polilitical manipulations perpetrated in the system.


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Labour Party has declared it’s support for Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. Does that not amount to digging the grave of the party in Lagos State?

In our wisest decision, we deemed it fit to support Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. In fact, any candidate or party standing against the him now has no chance, whatsoever. The Labour Party as the party of the progressives reasoned with the masses in giving our support to Fashola of the ACN. Mind you, we are not supporting ACN, rather, we are supporting Babatunde Fashola, who has transformed Lagos State. He is a performer of high repute. You can see that Fashola is the marketing manager of the ACN.

There was a press conference called by LP where it was announced that we have adopted Mr. Babatunde Fashola as our governorship candidate. So, our support is not tantamount to digging the grave of the party, rather, it has strengthened the Labour Party.


Political bigwigs often describe you as a political greenhorn. How experienced are you politically?

Thank you for that question. It is a wrong perception for any one to think that I’m a political neophyte. No, that is not true. Before the formation of Alliance for Democracy, AD, in 1998, I was a strong performer and a member of the Social Democratic Party, SDP. Thereafter, I became the first chairman of Afenifere in my ward in Alimosho Local Government. I later rose to become the ward exco. In 2003, I became the General Secretary of the ward and in 2006, I became the General Secretary of the Local government. So, it would be wrong for any one to describe me as a political greenhorn.


Nigeria is known for money politics. Do you have the financial strength to scale the hurdle?

God is helping us. Yes, it is true that Nigerian politics has been monetised. But certainly, we have been talking to the people especially those at the grassroots who are the voters, the electorate. We have been explaining to them not to mortgage their future for a plate of portage. Presently, the ACN candidate and the party has a lot of money to throw around. Mind you, some of them have been in government for over 12 years. Even my main opponent, Mr. Bisi Yusuf, has been a local government chairman twice. He was the executive secretary of the same local government. So, when you talk of money, the ACN in Alimosho has been in control for 12 years with commissioners and other top financiers of the party.


It is alleged that Labour Party is being financed by Governor Fashola. How true is this?

It is neither here nor there. I keep telling people that the supporters of Labour Party are numerous. There have been a lot of insinuations, falsehood and what have you, that the party is being sponsored by Fashola. But let me tell you that up till now, we have not collected a dime from the Governor. So, you can see that the party is not being sponsored nor financed by Fashola. Don’t forget that he is our governor, Labour Party has adopted Fashola as its governor and so the governor may have sympathy for the party.


What is your advice for Lagosians and particularly Ipaja/Ayobo residents?

They should shine their eyes. They have the power to decide who should represent them. They should vote for Labour Party because it is the only party that will give them effective representation in the House of Assembly. They should not mortgage their votes for any reason. I want them to cast their votes, defend them without fear of intimidation.


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