*Explains why she wants to be Amuwo-Odofin LGA chairman
A MEMBER of the Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission and former lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin in the House of Assembly, Mrs Riskat Adegeye in this interview wants women to be compensated with elective positions for their poor performance at the last general elections. Adegeye, who is married to popular fuji musician, King Suny Ade also explains why she wants to contest for the chairmanship position of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
By Charles Kumolu
You represented Amuwo Odofin in the Lagos State House of Assembly, but how prepared are you for the executive position you are seeking for?
I have been in politics for a long time. My late mother was a politician who inspired me to become a politician. It was not by accident that I became a politician. That is why I am passionate about serving my people. When someone gets into something by accident, you may not get the best out of that person, but for someone like me, who had idea of why I am in politics it is a different case.
On robust grass-roots appeal
During the Third Republic, I was the secretary of Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Mushin Local Government Area. In Apapa Local Government, I was the secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. At a very young age, I was the secretary of National Party of Nigeria, NPN, women wing. In 2001, I defected to ADC alongside Chief Dapo Sarumi, who brought me up in politics. I believe that learning under the tutelage of Sarumi helped me a lot in becoming a better politician.
In all the parties I have been since my NPN days, my understanding of the grassroots was brought to bear. Any politician with a robust grassroots appeal is bound to go places because politics is about people. In Lagos State, a lot of women lost in the primaries while some lost in the general elections. It is so bad to the extent that we have only three women among the incoming members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Being a state lawmaker is also a grassroots political office, what is the appeal in the local government chairmanship ?
Like governance which is a continuum, I am of the opinion that politics is also a continuum. I can’t say that I satisfied all the needs of my people which were within my legislative powers. But I did my best by ensuring that the voice of my people was heard at that level. At the risk of sounding boastful, people will tell you that my tenure at the House was well spent in the interest of my people. Within my humble limits, I ensured that my constituents were carried along through the assistance I rendered to them. That is in addition to the number of bills I co-sponsored in the House. With such gestures which were common during my tenure, it was easy for my constituents to become fond of me. Today the name Hon Adegeye is a household name in Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 because I play politics with human face. People think that when you are in government, money will be flowing, but that is a wrong impression. As a lawmaker, what I was getting was not enough to meet up with my daily financial obligations to my constituents. My record as a legislator made it possible for people to beckon on me to contest for the position of chairman in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area. My confidence of getting the ticket is unshaken because my party believes in my capacity which they have never doubted.
Are you not afraid that Amuwo Odofin is now a stronghold of the PDP?
It is unfortunate that the result of the elections did not favour us in Amuwo Odofin. However, it will be different during the local government election. The presence of non indigenes is not peculiar to our local government. Igbo and other non indigenes are everywhere in Lagos. With my personality, I am not in doubt that non indigenes would vote for me. I am a detribalised person and I have exhibited that in all the positions I held in the past. If I had participated in the last election for any elective position, my party would not have lost. So, I don’t have fears neither am I scared of anyone. Even when I get the ticket, people in my local government will be elated across party lines. They will even abandon their parties for the APC because of me.
What is the body language of your party leaders toward your ambition?
I did not just wake up to find myself in the race. I have consulted with my party leaders. Even now that we are talking, consultations are still ongoing. The good news is that they are disposed to my ambition.