Bosun Jeje, the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing is eyeing the Kosofe House of Representatives seat. This is his third attempt. In the two previous occasions, he won the seat but his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), prevailed on him to step down for the incumbent, Hon. Dayo Alebiosu. He said it will be very difficult for the party to ask him to step down for anybody this time around.
Mr. Bosun Jeje, a lawyer, an environmentalist, a sociologist and successful businessman is one of the four aspirants for the seat. The others are the incumbent, Hon. Dayo Alebiosu, Mr. Rotimi Agunsoye, the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Wasiu Balogun.
What would you say informed your joining the House of Representatives race for Kosofe Federal Constituency race?
If you recollect, I was an aspirant in 2007and 2011. It’s been a recurring ambition to go to House of Representatives to join others in making good laws for the good of this country. For someone who has four university degrees and two professional certificates, I am very well exposed to the various vagaries of our society.
I am a lawyer, an environmentalist by virtue of the fact that I studied Environmental Management. I am also a sociologist, who has studied both human beings and the society. So, I am very particular about making laws for the good of the country. That is one of the reasons I want to be in the House of Representatives.
Two, I want to put Kosofe local government area on the map of Nigeria by making its presence felt in the House of Representatives in terms of bringing infrastructural development from the Federal Government to Kosofe Federal Constituency. So, I am very particular about Kosofe and Nigeria in general.
Is it true that in 2011, you won the ticket for the same seat but the leadership of your party prevailed on you to step down for the incumbent?
I told you that I contested in 2007 for the same seat. The party, in its wisdom told me to step down, which I did being a loyal party man.
I did and I was compensated with commissionership. I was screened by the House of Assembly but I couldn’t be allocated a ministry before the expiration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. I was screened in January 2007, he left in May 2007. I think the electioneering then did not give him the opportunity to assign me to a ministry before the expiration of his tenure. Under the law, I was a commissioner in 2007.
Were you given all the paraphernalia of office as a commissioner then?
I will keep that to myself. All I can say is that I was given my severance allowance as a commissioner. In 2011, as you rightly observed, the supremacy of the party came to play again. After the primaries, the party called me again that I had to step down. That is what informed my being on this seat (Commissioner for Housing). Being a loyal party man, I allowed the incumbent to have his second term. Time has come again to contest. This will be my third attempt trying to be a member of House of Representatives. I believe that the time has come for me to take the gauntlet now.
Is there any possibility that the party may still ask you to step down for the same person?
Nothing is impossible. But the party does not do things in isolation. The party thinks very deeply before it takes any decision. If the party still comes to me and asks me to step down, I will ask the party the wisdom behind such a request. If I can deduce that it is reasonable, I will not hesitate to do it, being a loyal party man. But I don’t think the party will do that this time around. Kosofe deserves the best and I am the best for the job. I think the party will not ask me to step down this time around.
Aside the incumbent, Hon. Dayo Alebiosu, there are two other aspirants who are also gunning for this same seat. What do you think your chances are against these other aspirants?
One thing you have to realize is that under the constitution of the country, everybody has the right to aspire. The field is open for everybody as long as you are qualified to pick up the form. The more the merrier. Let us all come out and let the best emerge. We are just four. Even if we are 12 or 15 contesting, the best will emerge. If the best emerges, the party must allow him to go there, so that they can get the best from the best man.
What do you think your chances are to emerge as the best man?
My chances are very bright. I am very exposed. I have been a banker and a successful businessman. I am well educated. I have seen and gone through a lot. Nigeria and Lagos have been very good to me. So, going to House of Representatives is like payback time for me to give back to Nigeria and Lagos what they have given me in terms of training and opportunities.
My chances are very bright. I did it in 2011 in a very convincing way. I will repeat the same this year. I was not holding any political post in 2011 when I performed creditably at the primary. This time around, I am holding a political post and I know what people are saying about me since I have been on this seat.
The goodwill is still there. I am not in any way intimidated by any of the aspirants.
The incumbent, Hon. Dayo Alebiosu and the former Commissioner, Hon. Rotimi Agunloye are prominent people, who are well known to each other. Is it not possible for the three of you to agree on a consensus candidate?
If you ask me, I believe in consensus candidacy as well. When you have consensus, it does not generate any bad blood. That was what we had in 2007, 2011. But this time around, the party has not called us about consensus option. Nobody has thought about that now. It is very difficult for the aspirants themselves to talk about consensus. You will discover that it may never see the light of the day. If the party calls us for a consensus and we are able to reach a consensus, good. But since the party has not called us, let us go to the field and slug it out.
If you eventually win the ticket and go ahead to win in the general elections, what are you going to do better than the incumbent?
Without being immodest, I think in terms of education and exposure, I have an edge over the other aspirants. As a lawyer, lawmaking will certainly not be much of a problem to me. Being an environmentalist, don’t forget I told you I have Master’s in Environmental Management from University of Lagos. One of the problems facing the world today is the changing climatic conditions of the world. So, one of the things I will do when I get there is to make laws to regulate our environments. The polluted environment is seriously affecting our lives. That is one of the factors responsible for our average life span of 52 years. We need to make laws that will regulate our lifestyle and improve our condition of living. I already have a blueprint of what I will do when I get there.
– TOLANI ABATTI