Recently, Hon. Saka Dayo Fafunmi representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 1, Lagos, held an empowerment programme where a lot of youths from the constituency were beneficiaries. The event held at Coker Memorial Primary School, Idiagbon, Ifako, Lagos and was well attended.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the amiable politician on this and the controversy surrounding his ambition to replace late Dr Adewale Elijah (Jah) who until his death was a member House of Reps, representing Ifako Ijaiye
You have been empowering the people of Ifako-Ijaiye, since your first term at the Lagos Assembly, but this time around, people are saying you’re doing it because of your House of Reps’ ambition. What’s your reaction to this?
I’m sure I never knew Dr Jah, will die around June when we started the programme. That puts to rest the insinuation that the programme, was as a result of Dr Jah’s death. The constituency briefing has nothing to do with anybody, it’s just that we believe the strength of democracy resides with the people. That means we have to govern people the way they want and carry them along for feedback, so as to do what is needed, in formulating our policies in government .About, the school bus commissioning, this is not my first time in doing that.
Even, when Dr Jah, was with us, I have always provided free school bus rides for the students of Ifako Ijaiye. The stories flying around is just imagination of mischief makers who do not see anything good in other people. The constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria does not bar me from aspiring to any position. It is not as if I’m going to set a new precedent. Even this dispensation we lost a Senator in Borno, and someone from the House of Reps moved up to replace him, there were now hues and cries.
Only in Ifako Ijaiye people believe that trees planted must be cut at tender age, and if this trend is not curbed it will eventually be to the disadvantage of Ifako Ijaiye. If you look at the Lagos West Senatorial district, Alimosho is a shining light. It is because trees that were grown there were allowed to grow and mature.
Now, it is forming a shed and protection for the younger ones in the area. I was in the state Assembly, with now Senator ‘Yayi’ Olamilekan Adeola. He served two terms, he moved to House of Reps. Today he is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whilst my own people here are ganging up against me.
The question is, has anyone given back to Ifako Ijaiye as much as I have done? If I want to be selfish and play politics the way others have played it. I will probably not have the opportunity to represent them for a record of 3 times.
Although it’s not possible for me to please everybody and I’m not trying to do that. For me it is not the amount of money in your pocket that matters, but the numbers of lives you have affected positively. Now, even those students who are not even up to voting age see me and appreciate me by coming out of their classes to honour, is so humbling and fulfilling. Some people cannot even walk freely in their constituency without being molested for abandoning them.
So for anyone to say what I have done here, is as a result of my ambition is just a funny joke. What I have done today is what I stand for and I will continue to do it.
So are you confirming that you will be throwing your hat in the ring to contest for the vacant Ifako Ijaiye Federal Constituency House of Reps seat, occasioned by the demise of Hon. Elijah Adewale.
Yes, I am contesting, since the constitution did not bar me from contesting.
What’s the highlight of today’s programme?
The highlight for me, is the mixture of the Constituency stakeholders meeting and the empowerment programme. Ordinarily, I always dedicate a day for the empowerment programmes, this is the second one since I was elected, in the present tenure. I did the first one upon my assumption into office several months back, where those who learnt tailoring and basic ICT, graduated.
This Town Hall meeting is unique, because I don’t want to keep another group of students who have just finished their courses in makeover and basic ICT programmes, waiting. I said, let them graduate so that they can earnestly start fishing for themselves. Another highlight is the political intrigue that is involved, it came at a time that people could read meaning to it, but my intentions are honest. I shall continue to meet the needs and serve the interest of the people of Ifako Ijaiye.