We don’t rub­ber stamp ev­ery­thing from Am­bode – Akande

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS -

Hon. Vic­tor Akande (PDP, Ojo Con­stituency 1) is a first time mem­ber of the Lagos State House of Assem­bly (LAHA). In this in­ter­view, he speaks on how the leg­is­la­tors work with state gov­ern­ment and the con­tro­ver­sies shap­ing the fu­ture of PDP in Lagos State. Ex­cerpts:

Don’t you think such ex­pec­ta­tions are jus­ti­fied, af­ter all politi­cians make bo­gus prom­ises dur­ing cam­paign?

Well, we are all guilty of that. And the rea­son is not far-fetched. Any­time you are com­ing in to the of­fice for the first time, we all do have im­pres­sion that we can do these and that. But, when you are even­tu­ally elected, what you have is con­trolled power. For in­stance, you have the power to at­tract projects to your con­stituency through lob­by­ing, but you lack the power to ap­prove it on your own. Maybe, if they an­nounce va­cancy for 200 po­si­tions, you may only have the in­flu­ence to get one or two slot for your peo­ple. This is be­cause you are not the only one. Lagos is too big for one per­son. Your con­stituency is too big for just only you. There are some other big­wigs within the con­stituency, whom the gov­er­nor him­self can­not say no to, if they de­mand any­thing from him.

If you say you don’t have power to ex­e­cute projects, what hap­pens to your con­stituency al­lowances?

There is noth­ing like con­stituency al­lowance any­more. The lit­tle be­ing added to our money now is just to pay the salar­ies of our aides. What you can do is to iden­tify those projects within your con­stituency, which you feel need to be at­tended to, and when the ex­ec­u­tive brings bud­get pro­posal, we (law­mak­ers) put them to­gether in form of pack­ages, which will then be re­turned to the ex­ec­u­tive to in­clude in their bud­get.

As a mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion party, how far will you say you have been able to dis­charge your duty on the

floor of the House?

Well, we thank God for the wis­dom of the speaker. He has been us­ing wis­dom to carry ev­ery­body along. We don’t re­ally have to be at each other’s throats when we are do­ing the right thing. He has lis­ten­ing ears. When you have such a per­son as a friend, why should there be quar­rel?

Don’t you think the smooth re­la­tion­ship may mean you are be­ing used as rub­ber stamps when by the gov­er­nor?

You need to come to the floor of the House and see how we de­bate. There is no is­sue of rub­ber stamp­ing the poli­cies of the gov­er­nor. Pol­i­tick­ing has gone be­yond fight­ing which at the end of the day you don’t at­tract any­thing to your con­stituency. You have to be proac­tive and ob­jec­tive. I am one of the vo­cal op­po­si­tion voices in the House and peo­ple know that I don’t com­pro­mise. I do crit­i­cise where I think I should.

Your party, PDP, has just elected a new chair­man in Lagos State. How will you de­scribe the de­vel­op­ment?

There was noth­ing like that. Is it pos­si­ble for my party to hold a its congress and, I, who rep­re­sents the en­tire peo­ple of Ojo Con­stituency 1 at the Assem­bly will not be un­aware? Who­ever that is pulling such a joke should stop. How can peo­ple who can­not win a polling booth in front of their houses at­tempt to hi­jack the PDP from those that won in their own places? I’m not aware of any congress where a new chair­man was elected. What I am aware of is the fact that there is an on­go­ing truce be­ing mid­wifed by for­mer Kano State Gov­er­nor, Ibrahim Sheka­rau.

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