By DAUD OLATUNJI
Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Arowosegbe Ogunyemi, a businessman, medical technologist, now politician, aims to be the next chairman,Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (A C N).
Arowosegbe, fondly called Arocool, began his voyage into politics in the second republic,when he was a member of the youth wing of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). He later joined the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in 1993 and then Alliance for Democracy (AD) before he now joined Action Congress (AC) which is now known as Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
He speaks on the local government as a tier of government, security and empowerment.
What makes you think you can be the chairman of Odogbolu local government?
I am a son of the soil in Odogbolu local government. I hail from Imodi. There are two major zones in Odogbolu local government: Leguru and Alekun-Ifesowapo. We are Ifesowapo while Odogbolu to Ayepe is Alekun. Leguru has nine wards. In Ifesowapo, we have two wards.In Alekun, they have four wards,
altogether we have 15 wards in the local government. But since the creation of Odogbolu local government, we have had about 19 chairmen. Ifesowapo has never ruled,so, we are agitating that it is the turn of Ifesowapo which is the zone I came from.
What is your programme for the people of Odogbolu?
Our party has its own manifesto. The party has its programme on education, health and others. We are going to follow the party manifesto to the letter.We cannot do anything against our party. In this local government , I have studied and discovered that one of our problems is that most youths are not empowered.
Those who left school have no jobs.So, we decided that we need to empower our youth, we organized a free computer programme for all the youths in all the 15 wards in Odogbolu local government. And we have trained 715 students to be computer literate. If by the grace of God I become the candidate of the party and, win the election, we are going to empower those that we trained.
There is this belief that local governments are duplicating the efforts of state governments. Do you agree?
The creation of local governments has a lot to do with the people. It is because the local government is the government that is very close to the grassroots. Ibikunle Amosun is our governor today, the seat of government is Abeokuta. Within this local government, we have 72 towns and about 40
villages. Tell me how the governor will travel to all the towns and villages. If we talk in terms of
illiteracy, it is the people in the villages that are not educated, how do you resolve that? It is the local government that handles that.
That is why the local government is called the third tier of government, there is no way the local government can be ruled out.
How will you tackle the challenge of insecurity if you are elected?
The reason there is insecurity in the country is because most youths are not employed, and an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. So, once we can empower the youth, give them jobs, we assist the artisans, it will reduce the high rate of insecurity.
We will try to assist the police to tackle criminality, their problem is that they are not well equipped. We may not buy guns for them, but we will provide transportation so that they will be effective in their responsibility.