Hon. Wasiu Adeshina is the incumbent Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government. In an interview with Kunle ADELABU, the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief of THE IMPACT newspaper, the Chairman spoke on the violence that engulfed some parts of Ikorodu few days ago, ban on the sales of drugs and existence of bases, effort in making INEC office in Ikorodu accessible for people and the nuisance at Allison market among others. Excerpts:
IMPACT: How can you describe the scene of the mayhem caused by some hoodlums around Obun-Ale, Itunwolo, Itagbodo, Ejina, Eti-Gutter among other affected areas during your tour of the areas in company of the Divisional Police Officer?
Hon. Adeshina: The scene was an unfortunate one and I have to visit the scene in the company of the DPO Lawal, the Divisional Police Officer for Ikorodu. What I discovered as cause of the mayhem was a dispute between Ojurowo and Eti-Gutter. It wasn’t just the dispute because robbery and assault were involved as many innocent people were attacked while shops and homes were vandalized which made people to complain bitterly during the visit. From all these indications, we must stop the operation of bases in Ikorodu because their actions are inimical to peaceful co-existence. The whole mayhem stemmed out of rivalry among these bases and for the interest of peace, they have to go. I want to appeal to the residents of the affected areas to cooperate with the police in identifying the culprits.
IMPACT: Has there been any arrest of the suspects since the occurrence of the incident because residents and victims were actually mentioning some of the perpetrators of the criminal acts when our reporter visited the affected areas. More so, the DPO must have also shared some security information with you?
Hon. Adeshina: I was reliably informed that six of the suspects have been arrested by the police and actions are ongoing to make them face the law. In fact, I was told that their case file is being prepared to be sent to the Police headquarters in Lagos.
IMPACT: Sir, how would you described the state of mind and conditions of the residents during your visit?
Hon. Adeshina: The residents are still living in a state of fear. Houses and shops were attacked and many residents were badly beaten.
IMPACT: What is the Council doing to restore normalcy in the area since you said that the residents are living in a state of fear?
Hon. Adeshina: I have directed men of the Nigeria police and the local vigilance group, Onyabo, to start 24hours surveillance of the affected areas and adjoining communities. We also discovered many hideouts of these criminal elements and we agreed to demolish them to prevent them from returning to them.We also discovered some shops where they are selling hard drugs and drinks like codein, skushes, Indian hemp, marijuana among others. Most of these shops were forcefully opened and these drugs were brought out.
IMPACT: Sir, I will like to know if the Council is going to pay some of these victims compensations probably in conjunction with the State Government, or what is the Council doing to assist them to recover?
Hon. Adeshina: Our major concern is to first bring back sanity and peace into the area and thereafter, we are going to inform the state about the development and then wait for the action they would take in assisting the victims.
IMPACT: Sir, another issue that is germane is the issue of the Permanent Voters’ Card (PVCs) and the difficulties being faced daily by the residents in trying to get themselves registered at the INEC office in Ikorodu. On daily basis, residents face difficulties in having access to the INEC office which is located within the GRA Ikorodu and there has been clamour for the relocation of the INEC office from its present location to a more accessible area. What is your council doing in this respect?
Hon. Adeshina: The problem came to my notice about two weeks ago when the INEC Electoral Officer in Ikorodu came to inform about it and this made me to visit the office. The major problem concerning the relocation of the INEC office from the GRA to somewhere more accessible is the issue of prototype structure of the INEC offices nationwide. If not, the Council would have moved them from that location to Ojogbe or somewhere else. But we are dealing with the issue in another way by fencing out the INEC office from the GRA and opening another gate where residents can have unrestricted access into the office to perform their civic duty. I strongly believe that the step, when taking, would stop the embarrassing situation at the GRA.
IMPACT: There are also clamour for decentralization of the INEC operations regarding registration for the PVCs. People are saying that due to large size and population of Ikorodu division, there should be an arrangement where INEC presence would be felt in every part of the division simultaneously. What do you see to this?
Hon. Adeshina: That is exactly what we are doing now. Some of the INEC officials are presently at Imota, Ikorodu West and Ikorodu North LCDAs. They will be staying for about two months after which they will move to another location. We have been decentralizing the operations to serve our people better.
IMPACT: On the issue of Allison market, we learned that the Council, following the directive of the State Governor, has directed that there should be no market activities in Allison during the day time. What is the council doing to ensure that this directive is complied with and sustained?
Hon. Adeshina: The establishment of that market explains that it’s a night market and not meant to accommodate marketing activities in the morning as I have always been saying. The problem is that our people hardly listen to instructions. What we intend doing is to set up taskforce which we have started composing. In a matter of days, we shall be announcing members of the taskforce committee and once that is done, members of the taskforce shall be on ground to enforce and arrest any recalcitrant trader found flouting the directive. The enforcement is between 8am to 2pm. And it is not only in Allison market, traders at Sabo market too are fond of flouting rules by displaying their wares on the road thereby preventing free movement of vehicles and human causing traffic in the market.
IMPACT: Why not use Obun-Ale market which is traditionally a night market but now a shadow of itself because of the likes of Alison and Laketu markets?
Hon.Adeshina : You would recalled that through the efforts of Hon. Babajimi Benson, we have been able to install solar power light in that market. I had wanted to rebuild the market but for our tradition. It was the Magbo issue that caused the major barrier which barred us from rebuilding the market. It is important for us to consult necessary quarters before embarking on project that has connection with the tradition. But in the recent time, the Iya-Oloja has been calling me that I should come and rebuild the market. We are trying to reach consensus with those in-cahrge of the market and once that is done, you should expect something better from us. Thank you.