Insecurity can be tackled at local government areas –Moyosore Ogunlewe

Moyosore Ogunlewe, son of former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, started his political career from age 10. While Moyo is eyeing the chairmanship of Kosofe Local Government in Lagos State under the All Progressives Congress (APC), he wants the third arm of government to be strengthened for better performance. Speaking in an interview with OLADIPUPO AWOJOBI, Ogunlewe urged youths to embrace politics at the grassroots.

Why do you want to be a local government chairman at this point in time?

It is about service. The local government is the third arm of government, it has to do with the people at the grassroots, the Iyalojas, the Imams, traditional rulers and youths. With my closeness to these set of people, I believe that if I win the party’s ticket, it will be a relief to the people. I am closer to them, I know them one on one. As you can see, I have contested twice in Kosofe Local Government and you could see the number of votes that I was able to get. That tells you that I am the best man for the job.

What are those things that stand you out among the other contestants?

For me, I have contested election twice in the area and I know the terrain very well. I know where the Yorubas, Hausas and the Igbos are. I know where the Ijebus and the Aworis are. I am very close to these people, so it won’t be a problem governing the council as far as I am concerned; it’s about grassroots politics. I know I have a better chance if I’m given the opportunity by the people and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take the local government to greater heights.

What is your opinion about grassroots development in Nigeria, are we getting it right?

Yes, that is why they need people like us. The problem that we have in this country has to do with insecurity and it starts from the local government. If someone that they know is the local government chairman, then there would be no crisis at all. The insecurity problem in the north, west, east and south is from the local government. It’s from the interior, from the rural parts. You see people gathering in small places, planning attacks. If you have a local government chairman that is well known to them, then there would be no problem. He would call on them, empower them and give them something to do, and there would be no problem. It is about engaging these people. If you engage them properly, and attend to them you will get the best from them. So we need to attend to these people.

Don’t you think there should be a synergy between traditional rulers and local government chairmen?

That’s the issue, the traditional rulers, the Imams and Pastors know the people in their areas. They know when they have new faces in their areas. They know the families, they know the fathers, the mothers and everybody. So we must synergise the local government, traditional rulers, Imams and meet with them regularly. They have a lot of information to give the local government chairman. He will just be doing his work and do some things. But engaging these people will give you more insights into what is happening in the local government. Governance is not rocket science, you just have to know what to do.

What are those things that you think should be urgently addressed in Kosofe Local Government?

What I would first address is security. The security in the local government needs to be addressed. We will still go back to the traditional rulers, those that are closer to the people, the chairmen of CDAs, chairmen of CDC and others. They know these people, let them give us reports on them and how we can make things better. We will also look at youth empowerment, a lot of youths are out of job. If you look at the issue of #EndSARS, it was a youth thing, that tells you that youths are getting aware of the things around them. But the question is who is attending to them? I am not saying that I am a Messiah, but you will see a cordial relationship between me and them because of my age and I know the terrain very well. The traditional rulers know them and we know how to communicate with them. We need to get to them and meet with them, which is how to move this country forward. So, the local government should be entrusted to people that really know the community.

What is your opinion about local government autonomy?

I have always been an advocate of local government autonomy and I know that it will come into play at the right time. It is the third tier of government. It is closest to the people. The states or Federal Government cannot be as close to the people as the local government. The local government has a lot of works to do. If we can get it right at the local government level, the country would be the better for it.

Are you suggesting that our constitution should be amended to give more power to the local government?

I feel it would be resolved over time; it is the state and Federal Governments that would make it work and look at why we need to strengthen the local government.

The issue of revenue generation is also important when we talk of local government, how would you increase the revenue of the council if you get elected?

Getting revenue for the local government should not be an issue. We can get a consultant to do that, it is what you use it to do that matters. If the local government is improved, the work of the state government would be reduced. Like I said earlier, it is not my decision as the local government chairman to determine local government autonomy. It is the states, Federal Governments and the National Assembly that would do that.

Who are your political mentors?

I was attracted to politics from the age of 10 during the zero party and UNCP days, when I used to follow my father around and we got back very late. It’s part of me, I enjoy it, it’s like playing football for me. I like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, I like the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and my father, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe. I have learnt so much from them. But, in politics you cannot finish learning. It’s a process and I think I have gone through a thorough process over the years. I am still open to learn more. But right now, I am learning from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my father, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe. I learn from the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande by reading their books. My father used to work for Jakande and I know what they achieved together within that short period.

It is believed that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu wants to be the President of Nigeria in 2023, what is your opinion about this?

The question is does he deserve it? I think he does, he has paid his dues over the years, he has been consistent. But let us not forget that there is no man that can be 100%. He might have his faults, but most of the time, he has been a very good politician. For me, I feel if it is zoned to the south, then Asiwaju Bola Tinubu deserves it. You can see what he was able to achieve when he was the governor of Lagos State. This is the only state where you have Hausas and Igbos as commissioners and as special advisers. He has made sure that everybody is involved, he is not a winner takes all person. With that kind of person, and with the issues that we have in the country now, if he gets to office he would be able to steer the ship of the country. You can see development all over Lagos. We are not there yet, but you can see serious changes in the state. You can see a lot of projects everywhere. But we can do more. With the template he has put down, if he replicates that at the federal level, I think we will achieve more as a nation.

What would be your charge to your colleagues as politics has started in the state and people believe that politics is a dirty game?

The party is supreme; at the end of the day, it should not be a do-or-die affair. Whoever wins, if it is not me, I would still take it in good spirit. We will not sit back and allow mediocres take over the affairs of our country. Like I always say, youths should get involved in politics and stop complaining. They should get involved in the game, get it right and make changes. If we can get it right at the local government level it will be okay. The local government chairman is like the governor of the area and he should be able to solve several problems. If we don’t get it right now, does it mean that we all have to go to Ghana or somewhere else?




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