12th August, 2011
Â Olusesan Jimmy Awosanya, an Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, stalwart contesting for the position of chairman in Imota Local Council Development Area, Ikorodu, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, speaks on his desire to Transform Imota
Â Why are you vying for the chairmanship position of Imota LCDA?
I have been in politics for a while now. I started in 1998, with Network â€™98. Then I worked with my cousin, Hon. Muyiwa Adesanya, former vice chairman of Ikorodu local government, who later became the acting chairman. During this period, I worked with him as his confidential secretary and that was where my interest in politics began.
My grandmother was the last Iya Oloja of Imota and was working with Mama Abibat Mogaji until she passed on. And because I have travelled far and wide, I intend to replicate all the good things I have seen abroad in Imota. I have been in the United Kingdom and was a member of Action Congress of Nigeria in Diaspora with Hon. Felix Wale Ajayi.
Each time I came home, I kept abreast of what is happening within the party and the struggle to emancipate Nigeria. But what motivated me the most is the fact that Imota is not enjoying the dividends of democracy. The LCDA has not really improved the lives of people and I intend to change all these and bring a positive change and new ideas just like Fashola is doing in the state.
The governor is doing a spectacular job, all the leaders as well. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Baba Eto, Baba Sumola and all our leaders in Ikorodu and Imota locality are all doing well.
How do you intend to implement the programmes in your manifesto?
By the grace of God I will be able to achieve my goal by carrying the people in the community along. The party leaders, chiefs and obas will be carried along.
How do you intend to generate the revenue to achieve your goals if you emerge the council chairman?
Imota LCDA is one of the smallest LCDAs in the state and apart from the revenue coming from the Federal Government, we have very little internally generated revenue which I think if we manage well, will help us achieve most of our goals if not all.
I intend to ensure that tenement rates are paid. People are not paying taxes because they have not got the dividends of democracy. Governor Fashola has encouraged the payment of taxes by building infrastructure and roads and that is what I intend to do as well.
People can see the tremendous changes in Lagos and I intend to generate revenue as well. When people see that we have a reliable and formidable team and what the money is used for, they will agree to pay taxes and tenement rates.
We intend to fix the roads and then bring the Okada riders and motorists to a roundtable and talk to them on how they can contribute to the development of Imota via the payment taxes. You have to pump a lot of money into roads, education, healthcare and other sectors.
What strategy do you hope to adopt in the management of the finances that will accrue to you?
To the best of my knowledge we have state ministries and one of the purposes of their establishment is to assist local governments. For instance, if I know that there are needs in the education sector, I would have a word with the Commissioner for Education and create a working relationship with the ministry. This will also be applicable to other ministries.
In the area of agriculture, Imota is known for its agricultural produce. We will export our agricultural produce and become a force to reckon with in Lagos and beyond. Governor Fashola has put together a team of dynamic and brilliant commissioners who have vision and are passionate about making the state the best. Iâ€™ll tap into their knowledge and make use of their ministries to rebuild Imota.
The same will be applicable to road construction, health care and other sectors. I donâ€™t want to be a chairman that will just seat in his office. I intend to make a change. Iâ€™m not expecting manna from heaven.
How would you empower your people if you are elected?
Presently, the youths are too reliant because thereâ€™s no empowerment scheme in Imota. I have spoken with the youths, elders, Christian and Muslim communities and I discovered that there is nothing happening there. If you go to Imota in the evening youâ€™ll find out that there is nothing happening there.
I told them that we will empower youths by buying JAMB, WAEC, GCE forms annually. Some of them lecture in some tertiary institutions and I have told them we would organise remedial classes. Few months ago, I donated educational materials to Imota Community Grammar School and Ansar-Udeen Grammar School, both junior and senior secondary.
My team has been working on how to give scholarships to the less-privileged in the community and around. I just donâ€™t want to be a chairman that will concentrate development in Imota alone because we have Igbokuta, Okeagbo, Okoto, Egufoye and the rest and I hope to leave a positive mark in all these places. The reason for these LCDA is to be closer to the people so that they can enjoy the dividend of democracy.
The only maternity centre we have in Imota does not operate optimally. When thereâ€™s power outage the clinic finds it difficult to fuel their generator. The cemetery is over grown by weed and the security guard just left his number on the wall of the cemetery fence and off heâ€™s gone. There is no proper infrastructure, thereâ€™s no public toilet and many more. These things need to be reddressed.