Impact: Since you have been elected the CDC Chairman, what have been challenges and your observations?
Alhaji Shonibare: the challenges have been so enormous because on coming on board there was nothing to build on. The former CDC executive did virtually nothing to elevate the CDAs in Ikorodu. For us to achieve anything, we try to give the CDAs sense of belonging and levying ourselves so as to have something to start with. Immediately after our elections, we have fashioned out a year plan of action which is going to benefits all the CDAs in Ikorodu. It was very challenging bringing back all the CDAs because for so long they have stopped attending and participating in the affairs of the CDC and without the CDAs there is no CDCs. Seriously, they have not been benefitting anything from the CDC, but now with our efforts, we had over 65 CDAs in our first meeting, which increased to 68 in the second and in the last meeting, we recorded 74 CDAs attendance. This is to tell you that they have started building their trust in us and are ready to participate in the CDCs activities.
Impact: There is a burning issue affecting Ikorodu CDC representation at the State level, especially as regard the position of the CDC State Chairmanship where Ikorodu still has a term. We learnt some interest group are planning to return the former chairman who did not contest election at the CDA and CDCs levels in Ikorodu.
Alhaji Shonibare: For record purpose, Mr Awomodu was the
former chairman of the CDC, Ikorodu local government and by rotation we were told that it is the turn of Ikorodu to produce the Chairman of Community Development Advisory Committee at the state. Since Lagos and Badagry both spent four years each, it is the turn of Ikorodu to present candidate and after Mr Awomodu had completed his tenure as CDC, Ikorodu and CDAC Chairman, he did not contest for CDA and by implication he can not contest at the CDC level. In fact, during the contest, Mr Awomodu was away in Canada on medical ground. After our inauguration in January, the head of Rural Development, Ikorodu local government, Mr Bola Onigbanjo called to tell us that his director in the Community Development Unit of Ministry of Rural Develoment, one Mr Awolaro said he has been summoned to the palace of Oba Ayangburen in Ikorodu by a group of people and he was told that Mr Awomodu must be brought back as the CDC Chairman in order for him to complete the second term as CDAC Chairman at the state level. Immediately, we called the meeting of CDC executives and we met with Mr Bola Onigbanjo and we concluded that it is pertinent that we should go back to the palace to clarify the issue. When we went back, Oba Ayangburen made it categorically clear that there has never been a time that his opinion was sought on the issue or that he aske that the former chairman should be brought back. Rather, the Oba said his position was that since Badagry and Lagos have spent two terms of two years each, the director must make sure that Ikorodu also complete its term before going to another division. After having been briefed by Mr Awlolaro, the director Mr Onigbanjo came to Ikorodu and met with CDC executives and we went back again to the palace and HRM Oba Oyefusi reiterated his position. Since then we have not heard anything from the ministry.
Impact: Sir, is it appropriate for anybody that does not contest for CDA and CDC positions to become CDAC Chairman or a member at the state level? What is the position of the law on this?
Alh. Shonibare: It is not possible
because before you can contest at the CDC level, you must have emerged as either the CDA Chairman, secretary of treasurer. If you are not an officer occupying these three positions, you cannot contest an election at CDC level. In this case, the man in question does not even contest for any position at the CDA level, let alone of the CDC. And by extension, he cannot represent Ikorodu at the CDAC level.
Impact: Since this situation has started, have you been able to meet with Mr Awomodu?
Alh. Shonibare: Incidentally, Mr Awomodu is still away in Canada receiving treatment, so there is no way I would have met with him.
Impact: There is this perception that the occupant of the CDC Chairmanship position usually turn it into another political office to do the bidding of the ruling government and use the proceed for personal and family benefits. This among other allegations were raised against the former CDC executives. What should the Ikorodu CDAs and people be expecting from your administration?
Alhaji Shonibare: Thank you very much. Ikorodu people should be expecting so many things in terms of development. When we came on board, and for them to know that we are serious about our manifestoes, we have been inviting guests to lecture and provides answers to some situations. In March meeting, we brought Business Manager of Ikeja Electricity Distribution to tell us the state of our electricity in Ikorodu division. We also invited the divisional police officer, because we are having series of crisis regarding “Ajagungbales’ and other security concerns. The aim of this initiative is finding solution to all these issues as a body. Apart from that, we plan to go into agriculture and we have been talking with so many people to allow us to use their lands; we have planned to give scholarship to students, educational materials and also organizing quiz competition among secondary schools and monitoring teachers in our schools. Any moment from now, we are planning to launch Ikorodu Local Government CDC Environmental Sanitation Day to propagate that health is wealth will be launched.
Impact: As a Sports personality and now CDC Chairman, any planned action for sporting activities among the CDAs and other CDCs?
Alh. Shonibare: We have sporting events in our year programme. There will be inter-CDAs Football Competition in October and aside that we are planning Walk Day for CDCs in Ikorodu Division, where all the CDCs were expected to walk several miles round their local government and local government development area (LCDA) and is tagged, “CDC Fitness Day”
Impact: Lastly, The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) held its second edition of Ikorodu Community Development Awrds and one of your CDA, Elepe-Aga emerged the overall best, while Unity Estate CDA, Offin was first runner-up, what is your reaction?
Alh. Shonibare: That is to tell you that most of our CDAs are vibrant and we have been performing very well in the state organized competition and grading.I want to assure you that Ikorodu is going to perform brilliantly well in this years competition in Lagos State. A CDA like Papa-Agura is a serious contender. The CDA is constructing a CDA Sceretariat and they have undertaken projects worth millions of naira. The electrification they did alone cost around N3.9million and there are others like that. Another one is the Elepe-Aga CDA which just won the ICDA laurel, The CDA consists of young, vibrant and talented executives who are ready to take their community to greater height. Incidentally, the CDA’s Chairman is my secretary in the CDC. If one of our CDAs in Ikorodu local government can emerge as the best in the division it goes to tell you that we have vibrant CDAs in Ikorodu.