Comrade Olujimi Adekunle a.k.a “Desmond” is an aspirant for the chairmanship position of the Abeokuta South local government,(ASLG),the premier Local Government in Ogun state. In this interview with our Editor, AAT, Associate Editor, Mayowa Osikanmi and Staff Writer, Seun Aderounmu, he reveals his plans for the people of the local government. (Excerpts)
Sparklight News: What is your motivation to aspire for the position of Abeokuta South LG Chairman?
Com Olujimi: My name is Comrade Olujimi Adekunle David, also known as Desmond. I was born in Abeokuta, which is where I am from. I schooled and got married in Abeokuta and I am working in Abeokuta. Aside my Service year in Taraba state and my movement out of the country, I have always been in Abeokuta. This simply means that I am a grass root person and I know everything that has to do with Abeokuta. This has been the major reason I believe in myself that, with what I have seen in the past and now, there is supposed to be a change. I am not talking about the kind of change that people usually talk about, but a positive physical change that can be seen by all. This is the reason I am vying for the chairmanship position of my local government, Abeokuta South Local Government.
Sparklight News: Considering the fact that Abeokuta South LG is the flagship of all LG, What make you think you are the best Chairmanship candidate?
Com Olujimi: What made me believed that I am the best person for the job is, like the Bible says, “I know my people and my people know me”. I know what is happening right now to my people, because we have all been in this system together. I know what each individuals need to move forward. I know that government starts from the grass root. With the knowledge of the needs of the people of Abeokuta that I have, I will build an institution that will be beneficial to all. It will be an institution that will outlive my tenure, as well as subsequent administrations.
Sparklight News: what is your relationship with the party/ward members and how confident of victory are you?
Com Olujimi: First, victory is of the Lord. Again my Bible says, “This war is of the Lord” .With that enough, victory is mine. Aside that, I have been in politics as far back as 1993. We used to go to political gatherings with adults during our primary school days. Then, we would go to school wearing a mufti shirt underneath our school uniforms just so we can take off the uniform and sit among the people after school hours. Since that time, I have been practicing politics at the grass root, state and national levels. With the experience that I have gathered over the years, the knowledge of which they have, I am sure that I will have their support.
I am contesting from WARD 11 in Kenta amidst 15 different Wards in Abeokuta south Local Government.
Sparklight News: History shows that nobody from ward 11 has ever been elected chairman of Abeokuta South. Why is the position yet to be occupied by a candidate from your zone/ward, unlike others when there is change in power?
Com Olujimi: No, please. It should not be about Kenta ward, or where a candidate is from. It should instead be about what the person can offer. It is about how your intelligence is going to be beneficial to the people. If I want to be sentimental about it I would say it is about time Ward 11, my ward, is given the opportunity to be at the helm, but I will not do that. I really want to convince my people beyond reasonable doubt, that it is time for me to be voted in. In fact, you will agree with me that people don’t really vote for parties these days but individual’s competence. For instance, if I have practical projects that I can do to benefit my people and I am able to convince them, I know the people will definitely vote for me.
I know, of course, that my ward has never produced an elected chairman for this local government, even though we have had an acting chairman, vice chairman and also a speaker of the state House of Assembly. As things are going, it is about to happen now.
Sparklight News: What are the changes the people of Abeokuta South is about to experience?
Com Olujimi: In the past, Abeokuta was known for taking first position in many professional and academic activities. Something new, which will be first of its kind, is going to happen. It will be a thing that will be emulated by other local governments, state and the federal government.
Take, for instance, the western countries where there is a warfare package put in place for all citizens to benefit from. We will introduce a system for collection of data of newly born babies within Abeokuta South local government, at designated primary healthcare centres, with regular updates. We are going to emulate the western culture of providing social security for the citizens, such that our people will be entitled to a certain amount of money from the local government monthly. This will be possible with contribution from the local government’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
This project will help reduce the pressure that parents undergo when it comes to providing for their children. We want to build a people that will be capable of providing for themselves. And when we do that successfully, the people will, in turn, be capable of building others.
My project for the people of Abeokuta is tagged Premier project, and it will concentrate on these areas: health services with insurance scheme, emergency services (security, fire).
Sparklight News: How will you manage the youth in your project?
Com Olujimi: There is a premier empowerment scheme which involves technical education and vocational studies. A fund raising project will be carried out, and it will be called premier development fund. There will also be premier award. This will serve as an avenue to bring in people to support and sponsor the project.
In other to manage youth unemployment, I will liaison with the governor to ensure I get approval to employ youths whose responsibility would be ensuring that our environment is kept clean by regular removals of waste products from our drainages.
Sparklight News: Did you have any funny moment during your time as a leader in school?
Com Olujimi: I held many leadership positions while in school. At Lisabi Primary School, Ago Oko, I was the class captain and also a sort of a Chief Whip for late comers. During my secondary education at St. John’s Anglican High School, Kuto, I was the punctuality prefect.
During my National Diploma studies at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, I was a student union leader and the Deputy Speaker, Student Representative Council. After my Internship, I became the social director of the Moshood abiola Polytechnic student union 2005/2006 academic session.
Sparklight News: As a business man, what has been your experience during Covid-19?
Com Olujimi: Lending credence to the bible, I would say “The young lion do lack, and suffer hunger, but they that seek the name of the lord shall not want any good thing”. During Covid-19, I lost almost 40 million naira. Everyone was taken by surprise. However, I have leant to be prepared in anticipation for such emergency.
Sparklight News: Considering your busy schedule, how do you unwind?
Com Olujimi: I am a base baller. I represented Abeokuta and Ogun state in Abuja far back in 1994. I love watching boxing on my phone. I don’t watch TV. All I do is read and listen to news. My best music artist is Yinka Ayefele.
Sparklight News: What message do you have for the people of Abeokuta South and your party?
Com Olujimi: As the congress approaches, my simple submission is that People should come out and register. They need to come and cast their vote for the person of their mind. Now, our tomb count and it will begin to count more.
I am coming with a strong premier mission. With the support of the elders, the community and the government, I will use my intelligence to develop our city as a way of giving back to the city I have lived in for the most part of my life.