Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Hon. Muhammed Abiodun Fadeyi is the Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly and he represents Ona-Ara state constituency in the House. In this interview with Bamigbola Gbolagunte, he speaks on sundry national issues, including insecurity in the country.
How has it been since you became the Deputy Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly?
Honestly speaking, everything has been very perfect. I can tell you confidently that our parliament is going to be the best among the 36 states Houses of Assembly in Nigeria at the end of our four years. Our members have been very cooperative with one another, and despite the fact that not all of us are members of the same political party, we take ourselves as brothers. We all believe that we are working for one common goal and that is good governance and overall development of Oyo State.
Our parliament will make Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration to be smooth by ensuring that we do not overlook our oversight functions, while advice would be given to him on a regular basis to draw his attention to areas where the state government’s hand must also touch.
Thank God, the governor has even started on a very good note because all the 14 commissioners have resumed work, and they are all doing their best. They are very competent people, who can work with the governor for the speedy growth and development of Oyo State. And that is why we cleared all of them as commissioners.
The level of insecurity in the country is alarming; what is your take on that?
It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria is facing serious security problem. To me, the major solution is for the Federal Government to create job opportunities for our teeming youths, who are graduating every year without jobs. I am quite aware that there are little job vacancies in Federal Government’s establishments, but government can still help by giving them reasonable amount of money as soft loans at the end of their graduation to start up small businesses. And I want to believe that many of them have already been trained on entrepreneurship skills during their studentship in their various institutions of higher learning. I strongly believe that with such move, the problem of unemployment would be drastically reduced, if not eradicated, and criminal activities among the youths will equally become a thing of the past. As we all know, an idle hand is a devil’s workshop, so if they are engaged with one job or the other via self employment, our societies will become a better place to live.
Three police officers, who went to arrest a notorious kidnap kingpin, were recently killed in Taraba State allegedly by some army officers, who were alleged to be close to the kidnapper; what do you think should be done to prevent this kind of ugly development in future?
In fact, it was an unfortunate situation that such incident could happen here in Nigeria. Since the soldiers and the policemen are out to secure the innocent Nigerians, I don’t see any reason soldiers should kill police officers just like that. Therefore, my only advice to the Federal Government is to, as a matter of urgency, set up an investigative panel to verify the reason behind such development among the uniform officers, while the panel’s report should immediately be acted upon without further delay.
You see, the three policemen have families that depend on them for their daily bread. What is going to be the hopes of these families now that their bread winners have been killed? The government should also, as a matter of urgency, try to compensate the slain officers’ families because they died on active service to the nation.
How is the relationship between the state House of Assembly and the executive arm of government?
Honestly, Governor Makinde is going to deliver on his electoral promises because he has started well. We enjoy a cordial relationship, and I want to assure you that we will continue to enjoy such relationship. As you know, Makinde has been putting smiles on people’s faces even before he was elected as governor of Oyo State. And immediately he got into office as governor, he continued in his good gesture programme by promising to address workers’ welfare, including payment of their N30,000 minimum wage. Aside that, he announced the stoppage of school fees among the primary and secondary school pupils; a development he inherited from the immediate past administration in the state. He is almost the first state governor in Nigeria to declare his asset before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Not minding the political differences, Governor Makinde has also promised to complete all the abandoned projects left behind by the previous administration, while new ones have also commenced.
Also, the Governor in his effort to ensure that Oyo State is economically viable; has been travelling to different places to woo foreign investors to invest in Oyo State.
In the area of health, he promised to make health facilities readily available for everybody. In his attempt to achieve this, drugs have been provided for our hospitals and maternity centres, while all the dilapidated maternity centres and hospital buildings would soon be renovated.
He has also promised to encourage agricultural activities by providing loans for farmers as well as farm implements in order to boost food production and increase the economic strength of the state.
In the area of security, Makinde has as well promised to make the state safe for everybody to live in by providing necessary support for all the security agencies towards waging war against criminalities in the state. Mr. Governor has also promised to renovate all the dilapidated school structures, while the teachers’ salary and allowances would be paid as and when due, even as he has also promised that they will regularly be undergoing training and re-training courses to broaden their knowledge.