By Brown Chimezie
Shina Ogunyale is a lawyer and Rotary president of Agbara, Ogun State. The All Progressives Congress (APC), chieftain said though Senator Ibikunle Amosu’s administration has done a lot in urban infrastructure rehabilitation, much still needed to be done in the rural area so as to give people in the grassroots a sense of belonging
How would you access the democratic journey so far in Ogun state?
In the beginning I saw vision in the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. This vision dated back to our days in the Alliance for Democracy (AD). In the first year of his administration, he really tried. Throughout that first tenure, Ogun-West was neglected and we felt that such lapses would be addressed in his second term. Six years after, we have seen nothing, Two years into the second tenure, nothing has been done. I’m always ashamed as a party man when I see the road from Agbara to Atan, Lusada to Igbesa, Ado Odo to Mowo, Owode to Ilaro and many other roads in Ogun-West in their current state. What do I tell my party faithful who voted massively for Amosun? I was told that work would soon commence on the Agbara- Atan road. If that is done, it would be to my credit because from time to time, through social media, I have been appealing to the governor to remember us.
Criticism is different from antagonism. I criticise him so that he would be able to do good for us in Ogun-West. My objective is to ensure that good governance is entrenched in the state. Take for instance; Agbara, which is the industrial hub from where the state generates revenue, yet the road, is not motorable. In Agbara -Igbesa, we have the Free Trade zone where multinationals have their investments; nothing is on ground to show that they pay their tax. Since the inception of democracy in Ogun state, it is only this administration that has failed to make impact in Agbara community. Under Aremo Osoba’s administration, he constructed drainage for the community. Gbenga Daniel completed the drainage and even constructed ring road to link Agbara and other communities. As I speak to you, my party APC in the past six years has failed to do something tangible in Agbara and its environ. It is so sad.
Could that be responsible for Senator Olamilekan’s rising political profile in Ogun politics?
Come to talk of Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (Yayi), Yes I admire Yayi the way I love Govrnor Amosun in the beginning because he woke Ogun politicians up from their slumber to face reality. For example in Agbara Ward 1, during elections they will bring a bag of rice for party members but Yayi made us to understand that money from politics should be used to empower the people. Last time he campaigned for senatorial position, he gave motorcycles to party coordinators. He is always looking for ways to add value to the lives of party members.
We have so many examples of politicians outside their states that ended up winning elective positions in their states. For instance, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and former Governor Fayemi were at one time or the other in Lagos, but they went ahead to win elective positions in their various states. Even Governor Amosun wasn’t based in Ogun state. He was once in Lagos before he embraced Ogun politics. Yayi is doing well representing Lagos -West in the Senate and we want him to come home to replicate the same good work in Ogun state.
If we are going to conduct any primary election in Ogun APC genuinely, Olamilekan would win. I remembered that this was what I said before the 2015 general election that if the election would be free and fair, Buhari would win. And it happened that way.
Sadly, because of the rising profile of Senator Olamileken in Ogun politics, his political associates are now being witch-hunt. Recently in my ward, I was stopped from attending elders meetings of the APC. They said the directives came from above. A party official recently told me that she has been directed to stop me from attending APC elders meeting because of my closeness to Senator Yayi. I was surprised because Yayi, Amosun and I are in the same party. So I didn’t know the offence that I have committed to warrant such a sanction. All the banners I have been doing for Yayi has been carrying APC logo.
Won’t things like these stifle internal democracy in Ogun state?
That is my fear my brother. Instead of the governor to witch hunt perceived followers of Yayi, he should promote good governance in the grassroots to boost his popularity. If he is fair in his appointments in the state, the people would see reason to work with him. It is sad to note that the governor does not know the people he appointed to serve in the state. The reality would only dawn on him when he leaves government. The only people the governor would see come rain come sunshine are people like us who are sincere, those of us who are ready to tell him the truth
Looking at the new LCDA in the state, would you say they have contributed to good governance?
Yes of course. The effort is worth commendable. For instance the old Ado Odo Ota local government was divided into FIVE namely: Ota, Ijoko, Iju Atan, Agbara Igbesa and Ado Odo LCDAs. These LCDAs have been able to bring good governance closer to the people in the rural areas.
Finally, would you say that President Muhammadu Buhari has lived up to expectation?
As far as I’m concerned, I would give him pass mark. Because it is not easy for him to cope with the magnitude of rot he met in the government. Before he came in, Nigeria was sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Boko Haram was on rampage in the North- East while Niger Delta militants held the South- South hostage. Within just two years, Buhari Government has been able to restore security of life and properties of Nigerians in North- East. Today even the dreaded Sambisa forest has been captured by the military. My appeal to Nigerians is that they should continue to pray for the President’s quick recovery so that he can carry out his numerous plans of good governance for Nigerians.
In the same vein, I commend acting president Yemi Osinbajo for his ability to continue with governance despite the ill heath of Mr. President. Such loyal and patriotic service is what Nigerians expect from their leaders.