-Says it’s Ijede’s turn
Mr Saminu Bashiru, a senior citizen who retired as Assistant General Manager (Audit) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria, after 35 years in service, has appealed to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu and political leaders in Ikorodu Division to ensure that the rotational arrangement agreed to by the three councils in Constituency II, is allowed to continue.
Saminu, who is a community developer, philanthropist of note and a chieftain of the Ogo Idera Community Development Association (CDA), Ijede Development Foundation (IDF) and Ijede Resource Forum, also called on the royal fathers to ensure that the consensus on the rotation of the Assembly seat for the Constituency is honoured to prevent political crisis.
The concerned resident, who was also a former auditor, Ajede Luwasa Improvement Association (ALIA), said that he was speaking the minds of the progressives, youths and many Ijede residents, said that it is a duty of everyone in Ijede and Constituency II in general to stand up and ensure that the political arrangement , which he said has brought stability, is sustained.
The former AGM Transmission Company of Nigeria spoke with THE IMPACT during the week in Ikorodu.
He traced the genesis of the rotational arrangement for the Assembly seat in Ikorodu Constituency II, among Ijede, Igbogbo/Bayeku and Imota Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of Ikorodu Division in Lagos State, since 1999, while emphasizing that it has helped in giving each component unit a sense of belonging.
“Let me take you back on the memory lane, the Ikorodu Constituency II comprises of three major communities – Ijede, Igbogbo and Imota. You know we only have one Assembly slot in the Constituency and because of rivalry and other issues that can come out of it when the three major zones started fighting for it, the elders agreed on rotation”, he recalled.
“It was agreed that each of the three communities will spend two terms of four years each.
“In 2007, Ijede that was represented by Hon. Saheed Hassan from the inception of the Republic in 1999 completed its term and Igbogbo came on board. It was Hon. Rotimi Sotomiwa of late memory that was the representative then from Igbogbo”, he said.
“Unfortunately, he could not complete his term which necessitated a bye – election and all the contestants were from Igbogbo. It was Hon. Gbenga Oshin that won and he completed the remaining part of his first term”.
He commended political leaders for standing up to protect the agreement in 2015 when he said there was an attempt to breach it.
“For the second term for Igbogbo, it was Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola that won and while her tenure was coming to an end, she tried to claim that she had only spent a term and that there is need for her to go for a second term but the elders in the three communities said no”, Mr Saminu recalled.
“They explained that the rotation agreement is not an individual one but for the three communities in the Constituency.
“Since that time, I have seen our father, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun as a man of integrity. He is a very influential man who can get the third term slot for Igbogbo and make Hon. Adebimpe serve her second term, but he stood his ground. That is integrity”, he said.
Saminu also stated that the incumbent representative of the Ikorodu Constituency II, Hon. Solaja who is a beneficiary of the rotational agreement, should respect the agreement and allow Ijede to take its own shot at the rotational arrangement.
“That was how the baton moved to Imota and Hon. Nurudeen Solaja was picked as the candidate”, he said.
“Now, Solaja has completed his first term and nearing the end of his second term. I don’t see reason why he should start a third term agenda.
“Whatever he has done within the two terms of eight years is enough for him. It’s God that give people life and opportunities, he has his opportunity which he is using. He should just leave at the end of his term for others to benefit.
“What we are saying is that the primary election, whether it is going to be by consensus or delegate system or whatever, it must be contested for by candidates from Ijede”, he added.
When asked if Ijede has qualified candidates to represent the constituency, Mr Saminu said that the human resource in the community can present candidates to fill the entire 40 Assembly seats if allowed.
“If I start reading out names of qualified individuals from Ijede either by education, social standing, community and party engagements, we will not leave here till tomorrow”, he said.
“If Ijede people are permitted to produce the entire 40 members to fill the Lagos State House of Assembly seats, we have abundant human resources to do that.
“Among the few that have even come out now, they are saying that Aliasau Matti is not qualified. As a journalist that has been covering the division, you should know that he is a core professional. What about Taoreed Akeem and Yussuf Bello among others that are eminently qualified?”, he asked rhetorically.
“We have them in abundance and fielding qualified and capable hands is not even an issue”.
In his response to the issue of agitation from Egbin which is a community within the Ijede LCDA, for a sense of belonging in political offices, the community leader said that candidate can come from any particular community in ljede LCDA.
“The question is, is Egbin not part of Ijede LCDA like other communities? What I have been saying is that the Assembly seat is being rotated among three major communities which also have other communities under them”, he said.
“When we talk about Imota, it doesn’t mean that the candidate must come from the Imota township. It can come from other communities under it. In Igbogbo, we have Bayeku and others but when we talk about Igbogbo as a zone, there are other communities under it.
“Egbin is part of Ijede LCDA”.
Speaking on the performance by the incumbent lawmaker representing the Ikorodu Constituency ll, Mr Saminu said that he has done his best but that his best is not enough for Ijede LCDA.
“I am not in a position to judge him or talk about his performance in general term. He must have tried his best and you know that you cannot satisfy everybody”, he said.
“In all, he has not done enough for Ijede. For instance, lawmakers are always given slots for teaching, LASTMA and other employment, let him point to one Ijede person that he has secured employment for.
“This is why we are passionately appealing that the party should allow Ijede to come on board”.
He appealed to Hon. Solaja to respect and honour the same agreement that he is benefitting from, when his second term is completed and allow the seat to return to Ijede where the rotation started from.
Mr Saminu also charged that the incumbent lawmaker should test his strength on another party’s platform if he is very keen in seeking a third term.
“In the case of Hon. Babajimi Benson and Hon. Agunbiade in Constituency l, there is no agreement on how many terms they should have and we all are aware of Hon. Benson’s quality representation which cut across the entire division to the extent that you can hardly tell which part of the division he is actually from”, he clarified.
“Some people outside the political circle may not understand the agreement, but somebody in the status of Hon. Solaja should know better and fully grasp the weight of the consensus.
“You remember that Moshood Aro (AMA) contested against Solaja in 2015 but not on the APC platform. In addition, Aro is from both Ijede and Imota.
“Even at that time, Ijede did not vote Aro who happens to be our son, but we voted massively for the APC. We used our votes to state emphatically that it was not yet Ijede’s turn and voted for the candidate of the APC who was Solaja.
“This is a case for Hon. Solaja and the need to respect and honour the agreement on the rotation of the Ikorodu Constituency II Assembly seat. We are talking about agreement within the progressives party starting from the era of AD, AC, ACN and now, APC”, he said.
“If Hon. Solaja wants to contest for the third term, he may choose to do that on the platform of the PDP or any other party but not APC where we have an agreement. He should stop using his position to thwart the gentleman agreement among communities.
“In actual fact, I want to challenge Hon. Solaja to contest on another party’s platform if he thinks that it was his own strength, power and influence that gave him the seat and not the agreement among the councils”, he further stated.
The community leader appealed to the governor of Lagos State, APC party leaders and royal fathers to intervene and ensure that the rotational agreement is sustained.
“Again, I want to appeal to the conscience and integrity of our party leaders, most especially our Baba, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, to ensure that the agreement is honoured and also prevail on Hon. Solaja to leave the seat for Ijede once his tenure is completed in 2023”, Mr Saminu appealed.
“My appeal also goes to the governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and our traditional rulers – Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Ranodu of Imota, Obateru of Egbin, Olubeshe of Ibeshe and the regent of Ijede, that they should prevail on Solaja to not cause political crisis in Ijede. He should respect the rotational arrangement and let Ijede people have their turn to field candidate for the Assembly seat in the next election”