Hon. Adekunle Adeyemi is a lawyer and an Honorable Member of the 7th National Assembly of Nigeria representing Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency. Recently, he spoke on salient national issues in this interview.
Have you sponsored any bill in the house since you became a member?
Yes! I was one of the members that championed the subsidy advert, you can check in the newspapers within that period, we had to sit on Sundays and that has never happened in the history of the lower house in this country. We took a position that had a positive impact on the masses concerning the subsidy issue and at the end of it all, the fuel price even though it wasn’t brought down to the old price, it was reduced to the price we now buy it today.
Generally, I have been supporting and sponsoring bills and motions that are in line with the development of this country, it is not just about talking, it is about identifying things and bringing up topical issues that will lead to development in our country. When I say development, I am particular about our women and the youths because they are the soul of the nation.
As a member you should be able to tell us about what the house is doing to reduce the insecurity situation in the country, what are you people doing to douse the situation?
I am surprised that you are throwing this question at the house because the house only makes laws but the implementation of these laws remain the sole duty of the executive arm of the government. There are laws already on ground concerning this insecurity insurgence but the question is why are the laws made by the house not being implemented? And I believe the executive arm should be in the best position to answer the question. And the security agencies in our country too need to brace up. There is urgent need for a round table discussion on how to redirect our orientation in terms of security; we have to look at the remote causes of this entire problem. Looking into the immediate causes cannot solve the problem entirely because there are remote causes. We should be able to ask questions of the real reasons there are disenchantments in the country and a host of other questions. There is a Yoruba saying that “amukuneru e wo, okeni e now, e o woisale” meaning “how do you tell a cripple to straighten the load he is carrying on his head when his legs are bent”? What I am saying in essence is that to be able to solve these insecurity problems, we have to look at what and why the people are reacting, why is it that some Nigerians don’t see Nigeria as a nation? An Israeli sees himself as an Israelite despite their troubles, why can’t we see ourselves as Nigerians too?
Don’t you think that because the national wealth is not circulating could be the root of this entire crisis?
That is why I said we should look at the core reasons for these reactions. What you have just mentioned may also be one of the reasons for this insecurity that we are talking about. Like I said, we all need to go back to the drawing board because security is a very serious issue that must not be handled with kids gloves. We cannot pay lip service when it comes to security affairs because it is not an issue to be toyed with. We need to go to the root of this cause. Are our security agencies like the police being paid accordingly and accurately? Are they happy carrying out their duties because it is in my country that policemen buy their own uniforms and you expect the best from them? These are officers that their salaries are no more regular, not accurate insurance scheme is in place in case of any loss of life in the course of carrying out their duties. As a policeman, if I am sure that my immediate family will not lack any good thing of life if I fall on the line of duty, why wouldn’t I be happy and willing to die while performing my duty? Honestly, as members of the House of Representatives, we are doing our best by appropriating but the question still remains whether what we appropriate are being implemented? Yes, we oversee the security programmes and I cannot say that we too do not have our own oversight and if you care to know, the civil servants are the cause of most of the challenges we now have in this country and not the politicians.
(Cuts in) How do you mean?
There have been instances that we asked them to implement some things and they will give you the impression that it has been done only for you to realize afterwards that it wasn’t actually implemented.
Information has it that it is the police agencies that are the least paid of all the security agencies that we have in Nigeria, why is it so?
I am not in the position to answer that question and if truth must be told, I have never compared the security agencies’ wages with each other. But I believe an average policeman should be adequately taken care of. There is an urgent need for the Nigeria Police to be overhauled for a better police force, especially the intelligence unit.
It is when intelligence officers gather good and adequate information that the operations will have something to work on. It is not just sitting down and talking about security. No! It is about finding a lasting solution to it.
– TADE ASIFAT