By Onozure Dania
Rep. Odeneye Kehinde represents Ijebu-Ode, Odogbolu and Ijebu North East in the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
In this interview, he speaks on allegations of corruption made against the institution of the National Assembly among other issues.
But do you agree that the National Assembly is corrupt as President Obasanjo claims?
Corruption is everywhere. It is in the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. It is everywhere in Nigeria. What Obasanjo is saying is not new. He is also corrupt because he was once a President that ran a corrupt Nigeria.
So I will tell him (Obasanjo) that we are all corrupt because he also has not told Nigerians about the Abacha loot he recovered. Where is the loot? What did he use them for? How many bridges, schools, and roads did he construct with it? How many things did he do when he was President?
You have worked with many companies so what attracted you to politics?
At the time I joined, I was not known politically and didn’t know how they were doing it. I didn’t believe I was going to win but at the end, it beat everybody’s imagination how I got the ticket. They were all saying that as an accountant, I was not going to spend money for campaign. But when the election came I defeated the incumbent. After I had finished my first tenure, I went for the second time and won again which has never happened in the history of the senatorial district. No political party or national assembly member has ever won twice in the whole senatorial district. The Ogun East Senatorial district has never returned a Senator or House of Representative member. I am the only person that has done it for the second time.
Being a lawmaker, what benefit has it brought to your constituency?
I have not been able to ensure that every individual in my constituency got what they deserved. I will not be satisfied until every employable youth in my constituency has been employed.
What do you think government can do to create jobs and stem cases of kidnappings and other crimes?
What we should know is that government alone cannot employ everybody. Unfortunately, fortunes of private companies are not okay for now for them to be able to help the government. However, one-way jobs can be created through massive infrastructure development. If the government does this, there will be so much employment opportunities.
The government must also bring back vocational training through our curriculum. They tried it during 6-3-3-4, but we always try so many foreign policies that don’t work here. Even when you are educated and still have vocational training, we should let our children know that government cannot employ everybody so they should start thinking of being an employer.
After creating vocational training, the people that have been trained must be empowered. It’s like someone who has learned computer, and after the training does not have a computer, within a period of time, he will lose memory of what he has learned.
You have a Foundation, in what ways has the constituency befitted from the Foundation?
We have consistently organized life changing empowerment programme that has changed the lives of over 1000 youths in the constituency. We have trained people in various vocational skills and after their graduation, we empowered them. Some of them were well trained for over 18 months in tailoring, barbing and hairdressing.
Also as a result of our passion for grassroots’ education, we have distributed over 200,000 exercise books to all pupils in Ijebu Central Federal Constituency and many other philanthropic gestures.