By Emman Ovuakporie
Hon Israel Ajibola Famurewa, a two term member of the House of Representatives, represents Atakumosa East/West Federal Constituency of Osun State, in this chat spoke on the conferment of the highest national award on the late MKO Abiola, gives insight into the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun State and other national issues. Excerpts:
Do you think President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to confer the highest national honour on late Chief MKO Abiola was appropriate?
I was one of the happiest persons when it was announced. I was happy because the injustice done to a particular person was corrected.
It is rumoured that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has anointed someone as the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate for the Osun State governorship election. Do you believe it?
As far as I am concerned I don’t think there is any anointed candidate and if there is any anointed candidate you won’t see most of them on the field running. As I am talking to you about four or five aspirants are in different parts of the state moving around canvassing for support.
If there is an anointed candidate I don’t know, I don’t have that knowledge but I know that everybody, all of them are working seriously but you cannot rule out something.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the leader of the party, there is tendency for him to have sympathy for one of the aspirants we cannot rule it out, we are all human beings but that a candidate has been anointed, no.
There is this argument that Obasanjo probably did not recognise MKO Abiola because he was his tribes man because if he had done that they would have said it is tribalism and his relationship with him and all that and probably that was why he never recognised MKO Abiola?
I want to disagree with that; if you know Obasanjo very well, if you know his antecedents he always stands against the interest of the Yoruba and I can mention instances.
Obasanjo was the first person to renounce June 12, saying Abiola was not a messiah, at that critical stage you will know that even before then; I want to believe maybe there was a rivalry between him and Abiola from their childhood days, they may have some irreconcilable differences that they are just managing themselves.
They were colleagues in school and there was the tendency for them to have something in between them but as God will have it, God has a way of arranging things but I don’t believe that was the reason why MKO Abiola was not recognized by Obasanjo; I think he has a personal interest.
Obasanjo by my own assessment, doesn’t want anybody that will come and surpass his record, as at that time he was the military head of state for three years and a civilian person from his state would now come to be the President? So he apparently kicked against it; maybe not wanting anybody in this region that will meet up his records or even surpass it.
What are the things you have done in the last three years that you have been here for your constituents and do you have any special message for your constituents?
In the last three years if you look at it, basically I am here to represent the interest of my people and when I was coming I told them quality representation that their interest would be my uppermost interest and I think we have been able to do some, not much but the little we could.
We have a hospital in my place, there was a motion to that effect to convert it to federal medical centre and work is going on it right now. The motion was properly raised on the floor, it was supported by my colleagues and a resolution was passed to the ministry of health and they are working on it now. I think that was a major achievement in this House.
Apart from that there are a lot of things I did, like I have a special interest in education, I have a lot of schools, built schools, renovated schools, supplied educational materials to students and all those things and I can count up to six or seven schools during this 8th Assembly.
Then we have a lot of water projects; in my constituency I have two urban, two rural, we have a lot of water projects going on in the rural areas, solar powered borehole, hand pump borehole and all those things, we have a lot and if you are counting we have about 15 or 16 of that in different parts of the constituency.
In terms of power I think we were able to install few transformers to some communities to be able boost the power supply in those areas, so that was what we did and as we are talking now we have about 500 youths undergoing different kind of vocational training, very soon in the next one month, we will have a proper graduation for them.