An exclusive interview with the Chairman House Committee on Youth and Sport, Ogun State house of Assembly who is also the Vice Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Member House Committee on Community and Cooperative Development. Speaking with the Publisher, Hon GOCO as popularly called bore his mind of the two years of the 8th Legislature, the 2019 gubernatorial support for the West Senatorial District as said by Ogun Governor, the ambition of the Speaker of the House for Ogun Guber-polls, the alleged confrontation if some members with the Governor at meeting, his two years score card and many more.
Amebo: May we meet you, and how is your growing up like?
I am Hon Ganiyu Alani Oyedeji aka GOCO. Place of birth is Agbado in Agbado Okearo LCDA. State of Origin Ogun State. Married with lovely children. Attended N U Deen Primary School Agbado, Ebenezer Comprehensive High School Ijaiye Agege, Yaba College of Technology and University of Lagos. Highest qualification is MSC Business Administration (Management) in 1992 at Unilag. Working experience include: Joined Femstar & Company Limited in 1994 as Administration Executive and left in 2011 as Head, Human Resources to join Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc as HR Generalist and rose to the position of Industrial & Employee Relations Manager for the Group (FMN PLC). I resigned my job in FMN in 2015 to represent my people Ifo Constituency 2 at Ogun State House of Assembly. Chairman house Commitee on Sport. Vice Chairman house Commitee on Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs and member of Commitee on Finance and Appropriation, Committee on Special duty as well as Cooperative and Community Development. I hope this suffice. I was not born with silver spoon per say, my father is from this town, a SERIKI of the town who belongs to OWOLAGBA Association.
Q: You are the Vice Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy, what has your committee been able to do in terms of ensuring structures and equipments are in place at various LCDAs?
Oyedeji: Our committee has have course to move around during our oversight functions and from our observation, we understood that human capital is adequate but in terms of structures we still have a long way to go. Our people have been showing love by providing all the essential structures in some LCDAs and we are grateful. To be sincere this is the first time of experiencing LCDAs and we must all understand that we can’t birth a baby and expect his walk same month.
Amebo; The various Kingship tussles is part of the responsibility of your committee as headed by Hon Sonuga, what are the modus operandi of the committee in ensuring peace reign in these tussles sighting that of Orimolusi and the recent inauguration of the Oba of Ibooro?
Oyedeji: Settling disputes is one thing, but we don’t just dabble into issues unless we have petitions. As far as Kingship is concerned we have not really have any petitions but we do receive from that of Baales. For instance that of Ewekoro area came and told us they haven’t been receiving their stipends; and what we discover is sentiments and camp issue as the major problem, this is done in conjunction with the Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. We just proffer that, sentiment and issue of this belong to my camp or the other should be abolished among the Baales and their Obas. Now we have instructed all LCDAs and Local Government through the Commissioner for a need to compile all the names of their Baales with details so that proper accountability of this stipend will be sorted and achieved.
Amebo; Since your election two years ago what will you say your score card has been?
First let me correct an impression that we were elected to construct this or that, it is a perpetual misconception of what we are elected to do, but because of the level of understanding of our people we ensure to toe the line. Our role is to be able to facilitate projects to our constituency. As I have always said, the problem of my constituency are; Number one-Roads, Number two-Roads and number three- Roads (Laughs). I’m sure you must have seen it too. Even this road housing my constituency office was not passable until I took it upon myself to at least grade it before the hand of the State government will be seen on it, if you move to akute, ojodu etc you will see my hand on these roads. I also ensure I organised skill acquisition program in which I bought the equipments and materials needed at the end of the programs.
Amebo; Still on these roads, we were stranded for more than two hours due to the heavy downpour because of the dilapidated road in this area, what have you done to bring the attention of the State government to these roads?
Oyedeji; Amebo, even when I was campaigning, I was focused on road tarring and connection, that’s to tell you how much I have this at heart. Our major roads, Ijoko to Ojodu, during the budgeting presentation was taken care of, with about five bridges and the work is ongoing and I pray God help our indefatigable Governor to complete it. Agboro-Ojurin road is also part of what is to be constructed, we have 6 roads in all. The Matogun Okearo, Osoba road and Agboro has been advertised for construction.
Amebo: As the Chairman of Youth and Sport House Committee, what has been the contribution of your committee towards youth and sport development in Ogun State?
Oyedeji; Yes, I know I’m for the whole state, and what we have focused in, is to key into the state government plan. Unfortunately we have not had what they call national youth festival which I pray Buhari’s government will launch. In Ogun state, we just had our youth summit which was the first if its kind having the presence of the Governor and all the State apparatus were present including myself and other notables. GTB organized sporting competition too and our youth did well. I’m planning the all secondary school games in my constituency which I’m inviting Amebo to be there for the coverage to tell the world we mean business in Ifo constituency two.
Amebo; Still on that Youth Summit, a promise of loan was assured at the end of the program, how far, as the promise been redeemed?
Oyedeji; Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA CON isn’t one of those that says and renege on his words. Some said it won’t be possible for us to have the summit but we had it, I even called those who attended from constituency here after the program and the feedback was fantastic. In all sincerity we will not disappoint our words because it is our bond. What we have promised we shall do in a sooner days.
Amebo; recently even amebo picked the news that you were sponsoring some of your constituency for the collection of PVC, was the sponsor only for your party?
Oyedeji: To be honest before God and man, the sponsorship cut across everybody irrespective of party, ethnic or religious belief. I am a representative of Ifo constituency two so all my constituents are the same before me. At the preliminary held yesterday (Thursday) I don’t know if you finally make it to the venue, a colleague from your senatorial district was lamenting the distance to be covered by his people asking the Speaker to intercede with INEC so as to place a center at his constituency. In my response, I told him to do what I did here by sponsoring the people but said he doesn’t have the capacity. The need for us to assist our people was paramount to me which I did respond to.
Amebo: on the social media, before your invitation by the Governor for Iftar, we read that there was a confrontation between the Governor and some assembly members. What is the true situation?
Oyedeji; I am happy you asked me. What we all read in social media on this issue was falsehood. Iftar is a yearly invitation by our Governor, and to tell you how false the social media vituperation was, as at that time we haven’t gone for Ifta. Any confrontation as far as Ifta is concerned is false and totally condemnable.
Actually there was a meeting which was connected to ironing out the Paris club fund expenditure and at such meeting some colleagues bore out their minds and it was answered by the commissioner and the Governor also buttress it. The commissioner had even earlier responded to the house with his report as demanded. So as far as Paris club fund is concerned, the house is satisfied and we await the second batch.
Amebo; The House of Assembly had his two years preliminary yesterday, what will you say the assembly achieved in the last two Years?
Oyedeji; The speaker yesterday gave the scorecard of the assembly in the last two years which included that we have a very peaceful house irrespective of the party affiliation, that to us is an achievement because without a peaceful house all the developmental projects being executed by the Government wouldn’t have been, we supported and keyed in the mission. We also use the opportunity to appreciate the voters assuring them that we won’t take them for a ride. We also use that forum to call the state government to some of our individual constituency needs and the completion of all going projects.
Amebo; the Governor during the inauguration of consultative committee openly took side by supporting the Ogun West to succeed him in 2019. What’s your take and on whose divide are you as a person and stakeholder?
Oyedeji: As far as I’m concern in the law of equity and moral justification, I believe the Governor is right and I’m also on that side. See let us be realistic, over forty years a senatorial district has never tasted, for equity its sensible for us to support them. Ogun East, Central had govern let us all assist them. Its not easy for the Governor to do what he did, infact, I know the polity is heated but he has said the right thing. After the meeting the leaders from the West met with us at the Central and we pledge our support and I’m sure they would have met the leaders from East. So for me, I am in full support.
Amebo: The Eastern Senatorial of the State, are also laying claim with facts that Ogun only has two provinces which is Ijebu and Egba. They claim that out of Egba was Yewa carved out, and since the Egba province is about leaving, in person of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, that it is there turn as Ijebu Province. How do you now think Ijebu will be pacified to support the Yewa people?
Oyedeji: what is good is good. As at today what we have is three senatorial district. If two has done, Amebo is it wrong for West to be given the chance too? The Governor has told them to put their house in other, let’s help them too. As the Governor said, immediately they govern too, then we all kiss zoning a byebye, I think that is fair. At least the phrase “marginalization” will be over. Even if it is necessary for us at the central, we will join them to beg the Ijebus for their support.
Amebo: still on 2019, the Speaker of House of Assembly, Rt Hon Suraj Adekunbi is also in the ring, there was a time we read that other members endorsed him, what’s your reaction to his ambition?
Oyedeji; as far as the Speaker is concerned, he did inform us and we are happy he is interested. Luckily he is from the West and he is our number one while being the number three in the State. Logically as a number three in six consecutive years and still counting, he is more that fit to govern the State as number one. Its not as if we come up with a publication as an assembly but none of us objected so I’ll queue behind those who said we endorsed because till today none of us has raised any eyebrow towards his ambition and we are supporting him wholeheartedly.
Amebo: still on 2019, most of your colleagues are either gunning for house of representative or recontesting this seat, what are you gunning for?
Oyedeji: I’m presently here on the seat for the first time but if my people still says they desire my representation,who am I to say No? There is no one who will be in my shoe that will not want to continue the good work but the mandate of the people I’m representing matters most. My being here is via them and naturally I’m still interested.
Amebo; you are also a member of community and cooperative development committee. The Federal Government promised through the State and Bank of Industry, of releasing what they tagged as market money free interest loan since last year, what is the level of implementation?
Oyedeji; as far as it is concerned I can tell you it has reached its peak. The first batch will be released soon. The Npower was a success, school feeding is positive so also this will be. Just a matter of time. My appeal is for our people to exercise little more patience.
Amebo: you were working in a futuristic organization in which you have reached a pinnacle of your career, why did you jettison that for politics?
Oyedeji: I have been in politics for long eventhough I didn’t take it as full time. As far back as 1990s from SDP days to AD, Infact I contested during that year of AD as the Chairman of my LCDA during Osoba’s preparation to launch it, at that time it was called Ifo Central LCDA and I won the primary and Osoba made us govern tentatively till he left then. I was still on my job at that time. When I eventually wanted to quit my job for politics even my friends were baffled because of the high ranking position I held. So I did, to serve my people. Serving my people gave me peace and its one of the best thing to do if you are contented with what is duely for you. I have been part and parcel of CDCs. I was the Secretary of Agbado-Ojodu Association for more than 10years, so its part of my life. I’m thankful that I was voted for and I have no regret.
Amebo; on the last note, what do you have for the people of Ogun State?
Oyedeji: I’ll start from my town Agbado, I’m happy you gave me the support I needed, to my constituency I’m glad and appreciative you gave me your votes, I will never let you down, and Ogun State as a whole I’m appreciating you all. We will continue to do our job never to disappoint you all, please continue to support the state government and for the youth to please continue to support us. Let’s continue to pray for our Governor, let’s look back and compare the state to what she use to be before now, I enjoin them to please not loose hope and continue to pray for us as we are committed to serving them better by the day.
Amebo: We want to thank you Distinguished Honourable Ganiyu Oyedeji for your time with a full hope that we shall always have access to bringing you on board when need be.
Oyedeji: Amebo I want to also thank you, every one of us at the state level appreciates what you are also doing and I’ll say keep it up!