Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu represents Amuwo/Odofin Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker spoke with Oziegbe Okoeki on his legislative activities and the state of the nation.
What are the expectations you had in mind before contesting for the House of Assembly?
When we say expectations, they can be wishes and they could also not be realistic. Wishes do not mean they are not realistic as well. If I may say, it’s my first time here and I want to believe Lagos State, being a metropolitan state that the world looks up to in Nigeria, is expected to be a place the legislators should be true democrats and realistic in their approach to legislative duties. So, if I rate my expectation, I will say the list of my expectation is inexhustive. Again, I want to narrow it to four items.
What exactly are these things?
Well, I want to say part of it is the leadership. The environment to legislate is there. Let me say in fairness, true democracy is in the House. Like you can see, they are housing me in a building that is different from any other building and it’s something that is obvious for everyone to see. You can see and it’s about the people. The people I represent ask me similar questions and for me to be realistic with them, I try as much as possible to explain it with reference to the reality about it. So, if my colleagues have their offices in the main building and I am somewhere else, I have to open up on this yardstick. And my people are also asking me how come you don’t belong to a committee with my exposure and educational background. That I think is also questionable. I believe we all have CVs and it should tell what you have for the people because you can’t give what you don’t have. These are certain things that make up that four.
Apart from being an opposition member, will you describe yourself as an uncompromising PDP member in the House?
Well, let me be frank with you, when I came to the Assembly, I came with the interest of the people; don’t forget the PDP is not our surname; neither is the APC their surname. You get to an Assembly where you don’t talk about party or you get to find out you are not talking about party. you are talking about the interest of your people. And fine, you might be in the PDP, which is an opposition party, which gives us an opportunity to probably check mate what is happening. But on the other hand you also look at the style and approach of your colleagues, the people and you are watching and you actually want to see how they resolve or solve issues not because you don’t know what to do or what to say; but at times you want to see how other people get to get the job done, so I am watching to see how other people get the job done. Anybody, everybody can be uncompromising, I might not like what you like and you might not like what I like. But, I just believe we should also try to see how each other get the job done either we like it or not. Let’s say I am a patient person even when I don’t like what they do and let’s also say I am trying to learn how they do what they do.
How formidable is the opposition in the Lagos State House of Assembly?
You know there is a place in the Bible that says there is a way that seemth right unto man but it leads to destruction. So sometimes, I look at myself even as an opposition member. This thing doesn’t look right, but like I also said let me also see how they are making it happen, you understand, let me see how its happening. But , I must also say this, like I said, in the Assembly, we are not expecting to come and fight. We are not here to fight we are here to protect peoples interest. We are here to protect Lagosians interest, to protect our constituents interest. Maybe, we are carried away by this interest which I feel for me is better than fighting. I think in all honesty and fairness I am even more in such position, being in such an office and not recognised in any of the committees or let me say juicy committee, I think I am in a better position to tell you what is really obtainable by the PDP members in the House of Assembly. So, I have come to grow more as a legislator. I am watching to see if their style of approach is result oriented. But I must also give it to the leadership to some extent, at least they have given some of my colleagues the privilege to be able to understand and know what they know now. So if for nothing I still respect and I give it to them.
Ambode is performing in Lagos State, are you also in agreement with that position?
Let me be honest with you, I will tell you the way it is. Frankly speaking am a man of my words and I am a young man that is looking for the betterment of my own peer group. The governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has tried his possible best. I must say it. He has been able to keep the peace. I don’t know what and why the publicity secretary wrote such a thing. Personally for me, I see no business of his because, he is supposed to protect the party.
People are blaming the hardship on the past government, some are blaming it on the present government, where do you stand in all this?
I will be honest with you. You can’t stop holding us responsible, we are the ones in government. Nobody wants to take responsibility for whatever is happening. We are in government and we keep taking responsibility for our actions and policies. Well, I give it to Lagos. I won’t say it is not experiencing recession. But, I’ ll put it this way. Lagos State is one of the states in the country managing the recession, at least we can pay salaries here. We are ensuring that our brains are working. We are looking at what comes out of our actions. The Assembly is not resting. We are thinking of more innovations. We are taking more actions. So, if you are saying who to blame, I think we should go to the National Assembly or let’s say the Federal Government. Recession is caused by the type of policies that are made and the legislators and the President have to come to the point of understanding that the kind of approach we take in getting this thing out also matters. Okay, we wanted to curb corruption. You don’t need to announce it. Jesus Christ said if you are without sin, throw the first stone. Even, the big international business people who come here to invest, they are also corrupt. So there are ways to curb corruption and it will not affect the average man.
Where do you place Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the politics of the Southwest and Nigeria?
Let me be honest and frank with you, for me as a person, you know, there are people you’ve not met and you just hear about them. It depends on what you hear. But, from my own personal view, I see him as a goal getter. I see him as a business man, I see him as a result oriented person, I see him as someone who wants to have some form of legacy. He is not quiet, he didn’t hide his education, I discovered he used to be in Mobile, he didn’t stop at just being professional, he brought his professionalism to the political arena. For me, he knows how to rebrand his product when the product is failing, so for me, he is just a goal getter. He is someone that sees his business is going well, he understands the marketing communication behind it, how to attend to it; and his business is going bad he knows how to go about it as well and also to use the government of the day to get his business going on. So personally I don’t see anything against him, just one goal getter that I admire from afar. I am not in his party and I have seen how strategic he is. He is not tired, he is supposed to retire, but he is just not tired. So I salute him for that. He is more like Chief Olabode George too. You know, you see this two old men they are supposed to have retired but they are not tired. So I pray to God to give me such strength as a young man so I can also be like this people, focussed at that level and agile, strong. So I give it to them.
What impact have you made on your constituences?
Frankly speaking I must be honest with you. I always prefer when the media goes and make their findings on their own. You are not the mirror of yourself. What do you expect me to say, I have been lazy or I have not been working. Everybody will want to tell what you want to hear as a media man; but the Bible says by their fruit ye shall know them. We are goal-getters. We are young men that wants and looks up to Nigeria becoming developed, we also want to ensure there is legacy.
And it starts from our constituents, our homes; you can’t give what you don’t have, if your home is not taken care of you want to take care of Nigeria, start from your home, your constituents.
My people at home I can assure you the result you get will be overwhelming because I have received a couple of awards as regards my various services like the policy programmes, free school bus services that runs everyday. We want to ensure that the people feel government, they have a sense of belonging to the government. That was my wish so if I am given the opportunity now I should ensure that I make sacrifices so the people can have some benefits.
Source : ThenationonlineThenationonline