Hon Olusegun Odebunmi, 50, is a third timer representing Surulere/Ogoluwa Federal Constituency of Oyo State. The two-time Local Council Chairman and grassroots politician are among the 17 aspirants eyeing Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s job in the Ninth Assembly. In this chat, Odebunmi, who was elected on the plank of the All Progressives Congress, APC, spoke on his agenda and plans to take the National Assembly to the next level, if elected.
By Emman Ovuakporie
Your experience in the House has exposed you to a keen contest in the leadership of the House talking about the speakership. Are you interested?
I am interested and by the special grace of God I am contesting for the speakership of this 9th Assembly, God willing I am going to win.
Do you think you have what it takes to run the House?
That is where experience counts. I am appearing for the third time. Governance is not about you alone, you have a lot of people to work with. And the bureaucracy is there. Career officers are there also to guide you and with the long experience that I have in the National Assembly, I believe I can drive the National Assembly to a laudable position in legislative business.
What are you going to do differently, if elected?
No matter the agenda you think of, your agenda as a legislator must be in conformity with the law. Good representation is one of the major functions or duties of the legislature and we are here to represent our people and I will make sure that representation is elaborate and there will be periodic reports on our proceedings.
I want to base my agenda basically on oversight functions; we are making laws for the people and I want people also to be part of the process.
Though there are many laws in this nation that need overhauling because some of the laws were made years ago and they are currently not in conformity with what is happening nowadays.
So, we are going to look into all these laws and Nigerians would be part of the process.
Oversight is the major function of the National Assembly, I will seriously base my agenda on oversight. We are going to review how the oversight function is carried out so that at the end of the day we should be able to achieve what the law says we should do; exposing corruption in an agency that is found wanting. This 9th assembly will work on the oversight so that Nigerians can know the importance of oversight.
If we carry out our oversight diligently hardly we will see any misappropriation of funds. Sitting down in the hollow chambers should not be the priority. If I am given that opportunity, I will reverse or change the duration of the budget; I will make it go back to what it is before which is from January to December and our sitting days would be reduced. Going to the ministries will be a vital and key function because I am sure if there is somebody who is correcting or checking on you, you won’t be able to commit the crime and I am not in government to jail people or crucify people, I am in the government to make use of the resources of this nation to the betterment of Nigeria.
There is a process in lawmaking that we call a public hearing, many of our people don’t even bother about it, they don’t attend the public hearings. We are going to emphasize it, make it a point of duty that it is a must for our people to attend, even if it costs us some stipend. It is important for our people to be involved in any decision that will eventually come back to them; we will go back to our people in every lawmaking process.
How are you synergising? Have you formed your own caucus?
That is the major activity in the National Assembly. Whatever agenda you have, even if you are moving a motion, you need to lobby your people. Definitely, my team is already out there lobbying my colleagues both the new and old members so that they can key into the agenda. And my team is consulting with my political leaders back home in the constituency and zone.