Interviews, Politics

‘Destiny brought me to politics’ -Hon. Rasheed Makinde @ 45

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Hon Rasheed Makinde, the Lagos State House of Assembly member representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency II turned 45 recently. Though the town planner turned politician did not roll out the drums for his 45th birthday celebration,  he nevertheless marked the day in his office, where he entertained those who came to felicitate with him. ENCOMIUM Weekly was there and took the opportunity to ask the law-maker few questions about his life and career.

 

Congratulations on your 45h birthday.

Thank you.

How do you feel turning 45?

To God be the glory. It is by His grace to be 45.

Do you feel your new age physically?

No, I am still myself. I have not changed physically. The only thing that makes me feel I am growing old is when I see my children who are now as tall as myself.

There is a saying that life begins at 40. Will you say life has just began for you?

Life history can start at any age, depending on circumstances. For Governor Ambode, his life history started the day he became the governor. Life history of President Buhari started the day he became the Head of State of Nigeria as a military man.

So, the issue of life starting at 40 is just a benchmark. It might not work for some people.

When will you say was the best moment of your 45 years of existence?

There are many remarkable moments in one’s life. But, I will say one of the best moments of my life was the day I got appointed into the civil service.

What year was that?

That was in 2000.

Was it something you’d been struggling to get for long?

Of course. Although, I kept myself busy doing one thing or the other before the appointment came. When it eventually materialized, I was extremely happy. It was one day I will never forget. I even celebrated that day to tell you how important it is to me. I celebrated it with my mom.

When would you say was the saddest moment of your 45 years of existence?

That was in 2013.

What happened?

I was just moving from one problem to the other. It was a terrible year that I can never forget. I started encountering one challenge or the other right from February of that year till December 8, when I was shot. Another sad moment was when I lost my brother, who was about to graduate that year from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. He was a first class engineering student.

Was it in 2013?

No. That was in February 2011. I lost my brother on a Thursday and my daddy died on Sunday of the same week. So, it was a terrible moment in my life.

What lesson of life will you say you have learnt in your 45 years of existence?

Follow your intuition and dream.

Two, always listen to your parents advice. This is one of the things that I respected my dad for. Anytime I went to him for advice on any issue, whatever he told me usually worked.

What would you say informed leaving your civil service career to venture into politics?

I will say it was destiny. It was something God had already ordained. As a matter of fact, I was in politics even before getting into the civil service. I was a member of the Youth Forum of Alliance for Democracy (AD). In fact, I led a team of youths to Alausa Secretariat in 1999, to protest against selling of employment forms. Fortunately, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was the governor came out to address us and promised us that we would all be employed. True to his words, we were all employed. So, I have always been in politics. I will even say politics got me the civil service job.

You were employed as what?

I was employed as a town planner in the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

So, at what time did it occur to you that you should leave your civil service job and come into partisan politics?

As I said, it had been destined by God. Though I was working in the civil service, I have always participated in the political activities of my local government area. During one of the local government elections, I discovered that the person who came out to contest as a councilor for my ward was somebody I believed would not represent us well. So, I decided to sponsor another one and the person won. Since then, I have been part and parcel of political happenings in my local government.

So, how will you describe your experience as a member of Lagos House of Assembly in one year plus?

It’s been challenging and exciting. It has also been educative too. Irrespective of your level of education or profession, when you get to the House of Assembly you will have to start afresh. It’s challenging because we do a lot of work here more than the people are ready to credit us. And it is not as lucrative as people think.

Where should we hope to see you in few years?

Right here in the House of Assembly, of course. After doing a good work as representative of my people in my first term, I hope to come back for second term to complete the good work that I have started. Basically, the first term of any legislator is usually a learning period. He will need to come back before he can make a meaningful impact as a law maker.

-TOLANI ABATTI

 

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