We'll Right The Wrongs In Agbado /Oke-Odo


Agbado/Oke Local Council Development Area Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, chairmanship candidate in Saturday’s council election, Augustine Adeoye Arogun, in this interview with Alex Akinyele, speaks on his plans for the council

Why are you want to be chairman of this LCDA?

I am in the race because of the passion I have for service. I have always loved to serve humanity and I believe this is one of the ways to go about it. I left the civil service as an assistant director of health education and community mobilisation. So, I have had the passion for community development for long. I was also a consultant to international bodies like the UNICEF and through that I had the opportunity to serve the grassroots. I was the Community Development Association chairman of my community in Aboru. During my tenure, I was able to build a health centre and a secondary school in Aboru. These two projects were done through communal efforts and through grassroots mobilisation to do service to their community. At that time, I was named the best chairman in Alimosho Local Government Area in 1995 and the third best in Lagos State. That will show to you that grassroots activities have been my keen interest. I now want to be the local government chairman because I realise that our local government needs somebody with a lot of experience, both locally and internationally. I have travelled far and wide. I realise that our country has great potential in terms of human and mineral resources. But we lack that managerial abilities. And why? We lack the managerial abilities because of the attitude of many of our leaders even the educated ones,who believe in accumulating unnecessary wealth. They are not focused. Every human being must be focused. You must not be thinking about what you will benefit now, but the legacy you are leaving behind. In my case, even when I was the community leader, I did not handle money. I allowed the communities to do the job and give account. So, transparency and accountability, is my watchword. And if you look at Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA, as vast as it is, it lacks access roads. So to me, anybody who wants to lead Agbado/Oke-Odo, must be well connected to the state government. I was an assistant director in the state government. And even when I disengaged from the civil service, I worked in the Ministry of Works. I was the personal assistant to the Commissioner for Works then, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, now the governor of Osun State. That shows that all the engineers, directors in the Ministry of Works are my friends. Most of these roads that people are clamouring for their repairs, I can tell you that most of them have been awarded but what is needed is just a follow up. Like the Meiran Road and other roads in the council. There needs to be a chairman who can follow it up. So, I promise to make the local government roads motorable. We can assure the people of the local government that our tenure is going to be a corrupt-free governance. What interests me most is the legacy I am going to leave behind at the end of the tenure. So, if elected, all our manifestoes which include free education, potable water and food would be pursued vigorously and everybody will benefit from the dividend of democracy.

How do you hope to accomplish the agenda you are setting?

It is an era of purposefulness that will task youth’s ingenuity in the area of skill accusation and job creation. The youths want to work, but the jobs are not there.

Our plan is to open up the space to develop talents and empower them to be independent. We have a trade empowerment programme. We would co-opt financial institutions in order to make funds available for the people, particularly the women, to trade. We as government will invest in the scheme. I will correct the wrong in Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA. Education, road construction, and community intervention through meetings to get to know other things they want. This is going to be a new dawn in Agbado/Oke-Odo. The state government since the days of Bola Tinubu, the leader of ACN, as governor, has been striving to address the challenges of the people in all facets of life. So, I am yearning to deliver to the masses if elected. That is why the message I have been sending to the people of the council is that this is a new era.

The PDP candidates are contesting for the first time since 2003 at the local government level. What strategy are you adopting to beat them and other parties’ candidates?

I am happy that the people realise that ACN is a party that believes in giving the masses the dividends of democracy. Let us leave the incumbent chairman out of this. The people in the council over the years know who I am and that is why they stood by me to get the ticket of the party. People should know that the ACN has a strong base in Agbado/Oke-Odo. They dare not think they can beat us here. To me, many of the PDP people that want to contest believe that government properties are their personal properties because if you see them on the road, they are always with thugs. They don’t have programmes for the local government. And as I said earlier about my government, I have made my manifestoes known and if you look at the manifestoes very well, you will note that all the cardinal programmes at the local level have been made our priority which is tailored towards the welfare of our people. So, if you look at the PDP which stated earlier that the 37 LCDAs created then were illegal, and now want to contest in what they call illegal, then people should do away with them. They don’t have any agenda for the people because ACN forms the state government and most of the work we are going to do will be done with the cooperation of the state government. So, we can advise our people not to waste their votes because if we talk about votes in Lagos, Agbado/Oke-Odo is always taking the lead in election. That is why recently, we had a commissioner from the local government. That is the Commissioner for Information. People from the PDP are just deceiving the people and I use this opportunity to tell people not to take the PDP serious.

Related News

What is your relationship with the outgoing chairman, Pastor Kenny, whom some people claimed did not perform?

The relationship is now cordial. We have resolved all our differences.

Don’t you think this new relationship may not favour your ambition?

Initially, he had the ambition to go for a second term but a decision was taken by the leadership of the party. In a democratic system, you don’t force yourself on the people. It is the people that will say who they want. The people said they want me. At the end of the day, I became the people’s choice. So, there is no problem between us. We are going to work towards the victory of the party. He is the outgoing chairman, while, if elected, I would be the in-coming chairman, we are going to work together for the progress of the LCDA. For me, he has tried his best and my coming in is to complement his efforts.

What will be your priority for each ward if elected?

Well, I have said it that my priority is road network. We are going to make sure that the problem in the local government area are address within the available resources. I will explore my relationship with the state government to achieve the mega-city plan of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. Apart from that, education is the second priority,especially the primary education. We want to ensure that we develop our children because once you develop the children, they become the leaders of tomorrow.

I want to have functional schools that can compete with private schools in the area. Our schools will have toilets, standard laboratories and even computers, so that some middle-level parents that cannot afford private education can send their children to the available government schools. And the third focus, which is very important, is good healthcare. We will ensure that our health centres are well equipped and more health centres will be built in difference wards in the council area. The environmental sanitation will be another important aspect of my administration. If you go to our markets, you will notice that a lot of jobs still need to be done. We are going to build good drainages for them . We want to make our markets as neat as possible by making them standard in terms of environmental sanitation.

Vocational centres will also be built to train people in various aspects like computer education and handwork. Women too, will be trained on skills that they can use to support their husbands.

Load more