Hon. Rasheed Lanre Makinde is one of the new entrants in Lagos politics. He is going to Lagos House of Assembly, to represent the people of Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 2, the ticket he won on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly on this and much more in his Abule Egba, Lagos office recently.
How determined are you to make changes in the lives of Ifako-Ijaiye constituents who you want to represent at the next Lagos House of Assembly?
My determination is based on humility, charity and fear of God. If I am elected in the forthcoming election, I will ensure I make a law that will be meaningful to my constituency. As a member of physical and town planning committee, I will ensure all environmental challenges are resolved.
Among others is the social aspect because in my own constituency, as big and populated as we are, we don’t have any common social point where we can recreate, like a mini stadium, in other local government areas.
I will make land available and lobby the government to develop that facility for us. Aside that, we don’t have a general hospital, if you go to Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, there is no parking space and there is no bed space. But if we have another one, it will serve not only the local government, it will also serve the neighbouring state. So, when I am elected, I will make sure the lands are available so that government will work into them.
There are so many other things that are under utilized in the constituency like the abattoir. We need to renovate and sensitize our people so that the place can look better. Also, we don’t have a meaningful market in the area, the only market we have is not to the standard that our people deserve, and we will build it into a modern one and make it more spacious and attractive.
If we develop the market to a modern one, it will add more value to the area and also be useful to our people. Another thing is our public schools, we will make the schools look more decent and convenient for the students. Apart from my own personal donation, I will involve the ministry of education in the development of our schools.
The issue of water supply, the main source of water supply in Lagos State is from this local government, yet we are not benefiting from it. I will ensure the laying and networking of pipes, so that we can enjoy good water in the area. So far, these are some of the things we are going to embrace if I am elected.
You must be so popular for you to have won the APC ticket with a wide margin, what was the secret behind this success?
First, I will attribute my victory to God Almighty. I believe whatever God has ordained; no man can stop it. Second, my background, because in all you’re doing your background matters. My parents are nice and accommodating, they are sociable, especially my dad.
Presently, I am the first vice chairman of Abule Egba West Community Development Association (CDA). I am trying to do ensure the people of the area feel my impact by grading of roads in our local government. If I want to analyze the population, it’s more of youths and aged. For the aged, especially those with limited resources, I’ve been trying within my limited resources to reach out to them at all levels especially during festive periods.
Last election, I contested on the platform of our party then, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), it was like selection then but as a party faithful, I had to accept, so the party decided on who they think was okay for them. But this time around, party leaders said everyone should take part in the primaries to showcase his popularity.
I scored 107 while the incumbent scored 93 and the third scored 20. So, these are my antecedents. It’s God’s doing and the support of our leaders.
What informed venturing into politics?
I will say passion to better the life of my people because by nature, I don’t like politics (laughs). I’m not interested in it.
How will you face the challenges if you win the election?
The problem in Nigeria is the norm that we should play politics in a rough way but what has been the sustenance factor is the elite that have been gunning for it. I believe mine and some other people will bring the desired change and when the change comes, we would see the normal way of playing politics. I won’t say politics is a dirty game because every profession has its own politics, even there is politics in the family.
If you want to be a good politician, you must be a good sportsman because you must accept anything that happens. You don’t need to behave like a hopeless person, as if you can’t survive without the post.
What are your chances of winning?
I have two chances, one, is our party because APC is acceptable by all. The second chance is my personality. How the people of the constituency accepted me, so these two factors are in my favour, so I will win the election, come April 11, 2015.
Why do you want to go to Lagos State House of Assembly?
To improve on what we have done. I’m talking of the environmental law. Whenever we have heavy rainfall or opening of Ogun River Basin; we always have flood. There should be a law that would guide this in Lagos State. This should be a priority for us.
Another thing is transportation. Water transportation should be exploited. Our rivers should be dredged to give chance for big vessels to move. Also, we have some graduates that do not have job; not that they are lazy but because the job is not there. So, there should be a special package for them, so the effect of being a graduate will be felt.
There should be provision for our ladies so that they won’t become prostitutes. The Federal Government should also look at Lagos State, especially in the area of roads and security. They should build more federal universities in Lagos because Lagos is highly populated. Besides, federal universities pay less compared to the state and private universities. These are the areas I want to look into when I get to the Lagos State House of Assembly.
What is your advice for Nigerians?
I want to commend my faithful for going out en masse for the collection of their voter’s cards. I also thank INEC for the extension for the collection of the voter’s cards. So, our faithful are ready to vote for our party, APC in the coming elections.
Following the immorality and incompetence displayed by the PDP; our party members still kept their cool. Imagine PDP thugs were shooting during their rally. Are they scaring people or attracting them? I don’t know where they got that ideology.
Do you see APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode defeating PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje in the next Lagos gubernatorial election?
We have done it and it worked for the party. Governor Fashola was not a politician, but you can see his performance so far. So, Ambode will build on Fashola’s performance and the acceptance of the party in general. Ambode will actualize his ambition.
Who are your political mentors and why do you look up to them?
I have many political mentors. Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu is one of them. Why I picked Asiwaju is because he represented Lagos when he went to the Senate. That was when we saw the issue of throwing chairs in the parliament. He didn’t give up. When he became the governor, he made us see the difference between the civilian and the military government, he made a great turning point. What we are praising Fashola for today was actually the handiwork of Tinubu.
Another person is the royal father, Alhaji Hamzat, he’s a key father, honest, humble and despite his age and position, he believes Lagos and APC must move forward. Another person is Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He is a man of integrity. Many people pray to pass through what has he had passed through. Aregbesola is worthy of emulation. I also salute the courage of Hon. Ipoola Ahmed Omisore because it’s not easy to accept defeat, he did it gallantly and let me know that it’s God that put me there because by all calculations, I was not in the contest. He is a role model, he even gave money to support me.
What is your take on the issue of card reader?
I don’t think religion rejects innovation. The card reader is an advancement of our electoral process; it will tell you your profile at a glance, it will also avoid issue of multi voting and there is a central point where the score is being sorted out. So, it should be embraced and encouraged. We should also give INEC kudos for the good work.
What is your relationship with Dr. Jah and Hon. Saka Fafunmi?
I’m new among them, it is cordial because I want to learn from them. They are experienced politicians. I need to learn from them. I need to be closer to them. They are my elders in the system.
– TADE ASIFAT