Honourable Olushola Hakeem Sokunle is the legislator representing Oshodi-Isolo Constituency I at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the medical doctor turned politician told us that humanitarian services drove him into politics and more…
Can you tell us about your journey into politics?
Going into politics depends on the individual. In my case, I think it’s because of the interest I have for it. I need to touch lives. There are some things I thought of when I was young. And how do I achieve my thought is to go into politics. With the little time spent in office, we have helped people with medical challenges in our constituency and that is part of our humanitarian purpose. And I urge other politicians to get involved in the humanitarian service because it is not something an individual can do alone.
Despite the fact that APC is the ruling party in Lagos, why did you choose to be in PDP?
I believe in God and I want people to know that what will be, will be, whether you are in PDP or APC. I have been in PDP for a while now and I see no reason I should defect to another party because I want to contest. I believe in PDP, I contested on the platform of PDP and I still remain with PDP.
A lot of people expected that you are going to find it difficult getting the seat perceived to be a strong hold of APC, yet you emerged victorious. How did it happen?
People should stop emphasising one belongs to one particular party. PDP was ruling at the national level before, that means the whole nation was PDP. And the country is being governed by APC now. What should we say about that? Are they saying those in PDP have all defected to APC? No! It’s just a matter of interest.
APC might have been ruling Oshodi, it does not matter, PDP emerged the winner, it doesn’t count also. What people want at that particular time is what prevails.
How have you been relating with people from your consistency?
I have been relating well with them. My office is always open and I see no reason why I should hide away from them. Their votes brought me to where I am today and I spend minimum of about five days in Oshodi. Anytime they need me, I will always answer their call.
Some believe the election was rigged in your favour?
We all believe they almost rigged the election. But with God on our side, they couldn’t succeed. I want you to know something, if you can rig the election perfectly, it is also part of the game. What we did that time was to minimize the rigging level.
How do you feel now being a first timer in Lagos Assembly?
It is not anything odd. One thing about House of Assembly is this, it is not an executive post but legislative. After the election, what matters is the state not your party. We don’t advocate for party any longer. Once you emerge a legislator, you are a legislator in the House not in the party. You might be in PDP, APC or Labour Party, it doesn’t count. We are all members of the House.
How do you cope alongside the other PDP lawmakers?
Everybody has his or her own seat. I occupy my seat, they occupy theirs. If you need to talk, you talk from your seat, no one will hold you down. If I have any motion that people of the state will benefit from, definitely, I will push it. I think we are all doing what we feel is right.
We learnt there is a lot of pressure on you to defect to APC, how true is it?
I don’t know about that. There might be pressure, but I don’t know. Maybe the pressure appears to me physically. I don’t think I have identified myself with such. I don’t betray trust and I am always happy to render service to the nation.
How will you assess your three months in office?
We have tried our best. We have moved a lot of motions in the House and we have also touched lives through our humanitarian service. Personally, we are running a free computer training at the constituency office and by January, we would be running free JAMB classes and also distribute JAMB forms. We are progressing.
How will you rate this set of Assembly, do you see them more vibrant than the previous ones?
This is the time Lagos state is being put on the level it belongs. The 8th Assembly appears to be the best of all. The way and manner at which we run the House makes it more unique than other Houses of Assembly in the federation.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Honourable Olushola Hakem Sokunle, representing Oshodi/Isolo constituency I. I went to Fazhira Umar Primary Grammar School, Oke Nla, Ifo, Ogun state. I had National Diploma in Food Science and Technology from Ogun Polythenic and I had my Higher National Diploma at the College of Technology also in Food Science and Technology.
I did my post graduate diploma in Industrial Biochemistry at Lagos State University. I also have my MSc in Environmental and Resource Management, also at LASU. I am the former Managing Director of Oupeal Scientific Laboratory.
How do you relax?
I sleep at night. That is also a form of relaxation. I used to be a boxer, not anymore. But the skills are still there.