Tajudeen Ajide, the immediate past chairman of Surulere Local Government Area lost his estranged wife and mother of his two children on Friday, July 8, 2016, in London, United Kingdom. Late Mrs. Adetola Ajide was also one of the children of late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan of Lagos. She was said to be in her late 40s.
The rumour mill had it then that all was not well between Ajide and his wife,. This explained why she was based in London throughout the tenure of her husband as chairman of Surulere Local Government Area.
When ENCOMIUM Weekly called Ajide last week to console him and ask some few questions, he told us he was in London, ostensibly for the burial of his late estranged wife. When he came back on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, he called ENCOMIUM Weekly for the interview.
He did not tell us much about the relationship between him and his late wife except that she was a good mother to their two children – a girl and boy.
He also used the occasion to thank those who contributed morally and financially to the burial of his wife.
We want to express our condolences on the death of your wife.
What really happened? Was she sick?
All I can say is that she died. Like other human beings death occur. People will say this and that. All I can say is that she died.
Was it through a natural cause or accident?
When last did you see her?
I will say a couple of months ago.
Where did you see her, here in Nigeria or abroad?
She comes to Nigeria and I go to the UK most of the time. But I can tell you that I saw her some months ago before her death.
But there was this rumour that before her death that you have been separated for years.
I live in Nigeria now and she lives abroad. Is it possible for us to live under one roof?
Were you still husband and wife before her death?
She is dead now and in Yoruba tradition, you don’t talk evil of the dead. You allow the dead to rest. You give respect to the dead. More so, my children will not like it, that I am saying something bad about their mother on the pages of newspaper.
What would you say you will miss about your wife?
She was my children’s mother and a good mother. That alone is good enough for someone to miss her.
Once again, accept our condolences. We pray that God, in His Infinite mercy will grant her eternal rest and you and the children the fortitude to bear the loss.
Amen and thank you. I want to use this opportunity to appreciate some eminent people who sincerely supported us morally and financially during her funeral. People like Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos and Prince Tajudeen Olusi, friends and relatives that stood by us.
We also gathered that you are planning to contest for the chairmanship of Surulere Local Government again. How far is this true?
By the grace of Almighty God. Eni ti o ba se dad, a ri dada (If you do good, you will be surely paid with good). If you serve people and humanity with sincere mind and fear of God, you will not have any cause to worry to ask for another opportunity to do the same again.
But there was a lot of turbulence in your last administration at the local government council?
I want to say that whatever position one aspires to, it should be given to him or her based on merit rather than on thuggery and hooliganism. Hoodlums should not be allowed to take over local government either as administrators or legislators.
People who should be given responsibilities and powers in the local government councils should be those who can provide for the elderly, the youths and the people in general.
People who can improve the health conditions of the children and the elderly in the local government area. People who have the capacity to generate more revenue for the local government. People who can provide better facilities for market women and men, people who can provide infrastructure for the artisans. Someone who can improve the education sector of the local government area.
Whoever is elected into any local government council should make an impact on the lives of the people in all ramifications. Be it roads, drainage, environment, sports, etc. Those are the things elected officials should concentrate on. Not sharing of money, bringing the local government down and telling lies against the chairman that he built houses all over Lagos and yet you cannot provide evidence to prove your allegations. Not telling lies against the chairman that he has stolen all the local government funds.
How much is local government funds that enabled him to buy a N100 million house in Surulere? Look at President Buhari now. Some people are giving him problem. Is it because he is not performing? No. It is because he did not allow them to steal.
Before Buhari introduced single account, I started it in my local government (Surulere). But they don’t want that.
We had hoodlums collecting revenue. Six people sharing N1.6 million at expense of the local government. Is that fair?
Who are the people you are referring to?
My legislators, the councilors. They did not pass a single bill. Go and ask them, they are still around. Ask them to give you one bye-law passed. I provided them with 24 bills to pass into bye-laws, they did not pass a single one.
This local government (Surulere) among the 774 local governments in the country that did not pass a budget because they wanted money to be given them. Instead of them to prompt me to provide infrastructure such as roads and schools, they were busy telling lies that they were not given money. Whereas they are getting their salaries, allowances and imprest.
We are one of the local governments that paid their salaries, sitting allowances and imprest throughout. If they require for the document I have it here.
You journalists should insist that competent people are at the helm of affairs at the local government levels. It is the only way we can improve our system.
So, when is the next local government election?
I don’t know. It is only LASIEC and the parties that will determine that. I think LASIEC is working on a time table which I think they will release when the time is due.
- TOLANI ABATTI