BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
Akintoba Fatigun, chairman-elect of Ekiti Local Government area of Kwara State is a seasoned journalist who before now worked for eight years as Special Assistant on Media and Communications with then Governor Bukola Saraki. He spoke on his experience so far on the political field and his blueprint for his people. Excerpts:
What is your action plan for the people of Ekiti Local Government Area?
You know that the state government and the ruling party in the state, PDP, has its own policies and programmes, so we are going to key into that and domesticate the policies in our respective councils. Apart from this, when I went round the communities in my local government council during my campaigns, I was able to get the direct needs of the people which are different across communities. While some are asking for water, some are asking for roads and health care provision among others. I have taken note of all these and I will ensure that their demands are adequately met.
To me that is the whole essence of democracy; knowing the real needs of the people and providing them. I also want to tell you that, our people are peasant farmers, so towards this end, I will make deliberate efforts to ensure that agriculture in Ekiti Local Government is revolutionalised in all manners possible. We will support the farmers with farm implements and fertilizers to increase their productivity and also facilitate easy transportation of their farm produce to the nearby market for sales
What is your plan to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the local government?
Like I said, our people are peasant farmers so we cannot impose taxes on them. I mean there is a level we can push them around for tax, but what I plan to do is to partner with Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry to make loans accessible to my people in order to help them in the agriculture business and also boost their trading enterprise. Through this we can be able to generate taxes from them and thereby complement monthly internally revenue from the federal government
How will you describe the landslide victory of the PDP in the just concluded local government councils polls in the state?
For over a decade now, the PDP has been the only visible party in Kwara. We are the only party with structures, so towards this end, PDP was the only party that the people of Kwara saw in the last local government council polls in the state.
For instance in my own case, I went round the nooks and crannies of Ekiti local government council to meet my people and I was the only person they saw and they poured out their hearts to me, telling me their hopes and aspirations. The PDP structures in Kwara State also confirmed that the leadership qualities of Senator Bukola Saraki is not in doubt because he has laid a good example which we are all following in the state.
What was your perception of the last local government councils polls in the state?
From my own point of view, the turn-out was massive and very impressive. In my own local government, the turn-out was unprecedented to the extent that I wondered where the people came from.
The election was peaceful and the people were very happy as they went about casting their votes without any problem. I also commend the good conduct of the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASEIC) because, they did very well in ensuring that the conduct of the election was conducted without any problem. I also commend the good people of Ekiti local government area because they came out en-masse to perform their civic right.
What would you want to be remembered for at the end of your tenure?
I pray that God Almighty will give us long life and help us to stay focused with our blueprint because our help cometh from God Almighty. I want to be remembered as a journalist who had that opportunity and brought the needed comfort to his people. I will like to show a shining example to the extent that a journalist will be preferred far among other professionals as the best for elective office because we know more than others, being the custodian of other professions.