We Need Peace In Surulere


 The local government election in Lagos State has been slated for 22 October. As a result of this, aspirants have been declaring their intention to go for the coveted position at the grassroots level. The Chairman of Surulere Local Government, Dr. Rasaq Oyesegun Folami, who is seeking a second term in office,in this interview speaks on the need for the electorate to be allowed to choose their leaders and his achievements


 The local government election is around the corner and various candidates have been coming out to declare their intention to go for the polls, why the struggle?

The reason behind this is that the local government is the closest to the grassroots and people have different ideas about how it should be run. We all have contributions to make and I believe it is only the best candidate, the one that has been tried and tested, that has the experience that should be allowed to represent the party. You know ACN is the party of the progressives. We must not do anything to change this perception. My advice to all ACN members is that we should all obey the leadership of the party and submit ourselves to its decision.

So, what is your advice to members of ACN in Surulere as the party gets set to pick its candidate for the polls?

My appeal is that the people should be peaceful as the party is set to pick its flagbearer for the polls in the local government. Peace remains the only bedrock for social, political and economic development of any community.

“We, in Surulere local government, have come a along way. The peace fostered by the outgoing administration has endeared us in Surulere to the state government. This is the first time in the history of Surulere Local Government that no single incidence of violence was recorded. Why must we allow this peace which has existed among us to disappear all in the name of politics? We need peace to be able to bring more dividends of democracy to our people.

You don’t believe in politics of bitterness?

Yes, I am an apostle of peace and development. Politics should not be seen as a do or die affair. In any contest, there will always be a winner and a loser. We must all demonstrate maturity and discipline. ACN is a party of order and discipline and we must do everything to sustain this.

You are seeking a second term in office, how have you been able to touch the lives of residents of Surulere?

My achievements are there for everybody to see. Infact, they are well documented for posterity. My achievements as the Executive Chairman of Surulere Local Government stands me out among the lots jostling for the ACN chairmanship ticket in the October 22 local government elections.

“Without being immodest, I can say confidently that the people of Surulere Local Government have never had it so good in the area of performance of any chairman. For the first time in the history of this local government, the regeneration of the Iganmu Industrial Estate which has provided employment for our teeming youth has just received the nod of the Lagos State government. Also, the first Surulere Local Government Economic Summit was held and this has yielded many positive results amongst which is the provision of N100 million vocational centre by a renowned philanthropist, Chief Kessington Adebutu.”

“My other achievements include provision of electricity, boreholes to all the 44 public primary schools in Surulere Local Government; the reconstruction of roads and drainages at Iyu Street; the resurfacing of culvets, drainages and road resurfacing at Adebayo Street and Adebayo Close; the construction of road network within Iponrin Estate; the renovation of Surulere INEC office, the painting of Shitta-Bridge for beautification during the FIFA under 17 World Cup and the filling of waterlogged Akerele road, among others.

What have you been able to do as regards the provision of security in Surulere?

We have done a lot in the area of providing security for our people. We refurbished two police patrol vehicles at Area ‘C’ Police Command, Iponrin and presented 40 units of walkie talkies to them. We provided equipment for 150 local government neighbourhood watchers and paid their salaries as at when due

What have you been able to do in the area of education, health, sports and employment?

We rehabilitated the Surulere Local Government public library at Adebayo Street, we organised coaching classes for JAMB and GCE candidates, we distributed JAMB forms to pupils in the nine wards in the local government and rehabilitated Obele Primary School under public-private partnership project, PPP, sponsored by the Nigerian Breweries Plc.

“Others are the provision of new set of furnitures to all the offices in the local government secretariat, renovation of council chambers and offices of the principal officers, provision of new vehicles to all the councillors, moral and financial support to the leader of the legislative council to become the chairman of all the councillors in the 57 local governments in the state and the sponsorship of the leader of the legislative council to various international seminars.

“On health, we provided free medical care and rehabilitated dental clinic at the primary health centre, Akerele Street. We installed solar-powered freezers at the primary health centre for immunization.

“On sports, our footbal team achieved victory during the 2010 Lagos State Speaker’s Cup for under 17 team. Surulere Local Government’s Under 17 team also won the GRIMOLBI Cup in Pretoria, South Africa in 2009.

“Over 600 youths were employed by the local government and private companies within Surulere. We have also participated in the annual tree planting initiative and trees were planted accross the nine wards in the local government.

“We evacuated al the refuse at the second gate of the National Stadium, Surulere and we established a website for Surulere Local Government, (www.surulerelocalgovernment.org.

“We also launched Surulere constituency brief, a community- based news magazine of Surulere Local Government. We provided monthly running cost for the secretariat of Surulere Community Development Committee, CDC, among others.”

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