Connect with us


My Mission To House of Reps Is To Develop Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State-Sina Oyedeji



Hon. Sina Oyedeji from Okeho/Kajola Local Government area of Oyo State is determined to serve his people to the best of his ability.
Oyedeji joined politics many years back and he believes time has come for him to represent the people of Kajola/Iwajowa/Itesiwaju/Iseyin Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives in 2023 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He speaks with First Weekly Magazine in an interview.

The electioneering process is around the corner, why did you decide to be part of the race?

I am not a late comer into the system, but I believe this would be the election that would make us a member of the Federal House of Representatives. We have been on it since 2014, we tried it in 2019 and we are looking at 2023 now. It’s one of our passion for a better society. We cannot sit down to critise about who is doing it well or not without walking the talk. This is the reason we decided to come out and see what we can actually do to make sure that we have a better society and a better Nigeria.

Which office are you vying for and under which party?

I am a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I want to contest for the Federal House of Representatives from Kajola/Iwajowa/Itesiwaju and Iseyin Federal Constituency in Oyo State. We call it Oke Ogun one.

You want to be a member of the Federal House of Representatives, but some people have said that some lawmakers go to Abuja to amass wealth, why do you want to go?

When things are not right, people would be hard on the government. Unless we want to deceive ourselves, is this how things ought to be? This is not actually the kind of development that we desire. It’s just a mimick way of development. When they are hard on the people in government, it’s okay. But we cannot continue to be hard on them, when we don’t engage them. Most people even go harder on people in government, and they just stay at home to watch how people vote on election day on the television,! they don’t even have PVCs. These are the reasons some of us are paying a huge price. To be honest with you, politics in Nigeria is not a joke, it’s not for the lilly livered. For you to be part of it, you really need to have the passion and pay a price. I say to myself that I am paying a very hard price. I have had a lot of public sector experience in Nigeria and abroad. I left Europe for Nigeria to be part of a process that can give us a better society so that we can have a future. What we need to do differently is to try our best. But no matter how you do it, people would still complain, but the complain would not be like what we have now with insecurity, unemployment and inflation here and there. When they tell you that what are these people doing in the National Assembly, they may be right and they are right. We have 360 members in the Federal House of Representatives and about 109 senators, what have they done for the people? In Oyo State, we have a senator that moved only three motions in three years and they collect salaries. I don’t know what they earn, everything they say about what they are earning are speculations, these are things that need to change. There are some elementary things they need to start looking at. They need to talk about what will take us to where we need to be. If people don’t know what they earn, you cannot benchmark what they ought to do. People expect you to be richer than they are once you are in government. Why national assembly, this is where laws are made and policies are made and this is where Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies (MDAs) come to defend what they want to do. We will do many things differently, we have hospitals; we have doctors and nurses, do we have manuals that guide their operations. We need to know their problems, these are the things we need to look at before they go on strike. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been going on strike since 1992. We believe that before we do anything, it must have a foundation. For every policy, there must be a standard operation and all these things happen in the National Assembly.

Can you tell us about your political pedigree that would give you an edge over others?

Like I said, we have been on this journey since 2014. But I started as a union leader from my university days, I am the only unionist in the University of Ibadan to resign from office based on principles, I was an assistant secretary during the struggle for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. I was a union leader, who was all over the place with others over the issue of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and we led demonstration all over the place. We pasted the posters of the late Chief MKO Abiola on the roads from Maiduguri in Borno State to Lagos. The first job, which I did was to work with Otunba Reuben Famuyibo, when he wanted to be the governor of Ekiti State, and this exposed me to a lot of things in politics. I also served as a senior special assistant to a member of the Federal House of Representatives between 1999 and 2001. Since then, I have been in and out of politics. I was with the late Chief Bola Ige, when he wrote the constitution of the PDP before he left for the ANPP and moved to the AD. If there was no passion for the people, we would not be doing all these things. We were doing all these without a penny, nobody gave us anything. We just wanted to learn and see how to do it very well. For us to work with the likes of Chief Bola Ige you will see that we mean business. We also worked with the Federal Government, I worked with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for about 12 years. I was a union leader, when I was there, I was the Vice Chairman for the Senior Staff of Air Transport Management Union. So, we didn’t just wake up to say we want to serve. We have come a long way learning how to do it.

What is your assessment of the government of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and what is your contribution to the government?

I am the immediate past first commissioner in the Oyo State Local Government Service Commission. I have said it severally that Governor Seyi Makinde is the best thing to happen to Oyo State. I am from Oke Ogun like I mentioned before. By May 29 this year, Governor Makinde would have completed roads of about 240 kilometers in Oke Ogun. He is just commissioning Iseyin-Ogbomosho road now. I can say it anywhere that no government, since 1976, has fixed up to 40 kilometers of road for our region, but this Governor has done 240 kilometers. On infrastructure, Seyi Makinde has fixed more than 100 primary healthcare centres in the state in about three years, about 250 schools out of the 2,500 schools in Oyo State have been fixed. We have about 50 model schools. For some us, payment of salaries might be something normal, but in some other places, where they may not pay salaries for four months, what do you have to say for a state where it is paid regularly. We can say that gratuity is a norm, but this is a man that has paid about N16 billion as gratuity in three years and the previous administration only paid N1.2 Billion in eight years. See what happened at the Secretariat yesterday, they didn’t come to protest but to pray for the Governor and they look good. In Ibadan, you see the 37 kilometer Bere/Olorunsogo Road, is it the 21 kilometers Akoran road or Apete Road that Governor Makinde constructed and this guy did not borrow money. Pension was under my office, when I was in government, the first question the pensioneers ask is “where are you getting money to pay us, you pay our gratuity as at when due.” We told them that the money was there before but that somebody was just using it for something else. You can rate him as one the best things that can happen to Oyo State. No Deputy Governor, in the history of Oyo State, has had what the current one is having, he pays him all his dues regularly.
He is the first Governor to buy official cars for permanent secretaries. For the first time in Oyo State, teachers get to the level of permanent secretaries. They get to level 16 and then level 17. He has put about 7,000 teachers on pensionable pay roll of the state. Over 5,000 teachers, 2,000 non teaching staff, over 500 healthcare workers and others. What again do we want. He did roads in Oyo, Ogbomosho, Ibadan and Ibarapa in less than three years.

What have been your campaign programmes?

Oke Ogun is the food basket of Oyo State, which means we have arable land for farming. We need to help people in agriculture business, and create jobs for our youths. Unemployment has really affected our people, so they go back to the town to see what they could do. Some of them go to Lagos to do Okada business and Lagos is not even available for that again. Some of them go into crimes in Lagos, which they are not used to. When they come back home they become something else. So we will focus on employment, agriculture and education. The orientation needs to change because many people believe that they should go into crime. But because of the roads that the Governor has done for us in Oke Ogun, people can move their agriculture products. Moreso, some people want to be teachers, but should they be secondary school teachers. We want to train them so that they can become lecturers. We will partner with some organisations to train them so that we can be proud of them. We will do this through policies. As lawmakers, we can use our knowledge to close some of these gaps and provide empowerment for our people. On healthcare, we thank God for what Governor Seyi Makinde is doing. The intention of having primary healthcare center in every ward is to make healthcare available to all. If you have functioning primary healthcare centers, there would be less pressure on the secondary healthcare centres.

Do you see the PDP moving to the centre in 2023 and is there enough unity in the party or are they well prepared for the task?

It is the delegates that would determine who would represent the party in the general elections. Senator Bukola Saraki did well as a senate president and you can not compare him to what we have now. He did well as a governor in Kwara State. For Nyesom Wike, he has not failed them in Rivers State. Then Atiku Abubakar, some people say a lot of things about him. He left Customs in 1989 as an Assistant Comptroller General of Customs. He has done well for himself as a businessman and his business even extend to international such that we can trace his income and tax records. You cannot compare him to people who don’t have tax records that we cannot trace their sources of income.
You can see the way the issue of presidential aspirants has become a joke in the All Progressives Congress (APC). Who are the people that are buying forms for them, are they faceless, you can’t see them. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has a lot of roles to play it in this. We are not disunited in the PDP. Once you have two or three people in a place there would be all sorts of interest.

Don’t you think that the PDP should have zoned the presidency to the South East in the spirit of fairness?

This is democracy, why are you talking about zoning? Yes, as a person I would not mind if it goes to the South East. But you cannot beg anybody to come out to contest, if they want it they should show determination. For me, I wouldn’t mind a South Easterner to be the president now, the South West, South South and the North have done it, but it cannot be given to anybody on a platter of gold. So, the presidential aspirants from that area need to show more commitments. It’s even fair in the PDP, other people are just joking as if it’s not a contest. Also, the cost of nomination forms is crazy. How can you tell someone to look for N5million, N10million for a nomination form. Someone who has not worked for five years, where do you want him to get that kind of money. You want to disengage the people there, where do you want the youths to get that kind of money to take over from the old ones. Most of our young guys who are more intelligent than us should not say they want to start from the presidency, they should start from somewhere.

Click to comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /var/www/first2023/wp-content/themes/firstweekly/comments.php on line 48

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply