“Gov. Ambode Will Announce His Cabinet After Restructuring” – Asiwaju Basorun

“Gov. Ambode Will Announce His Cabinet After Restructuring” – Asiwaju Basorun
Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun is the Asiwaju of Igbogbo, First Secretary to the Lagos State Government, former Commissioner for Education and at present, a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. He spoke with The Impact Newspaper Team comprising of the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief, Kunle Adelabu and trainee-Journalists, Oyiyitan Oluwaseyi David (Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu), Adediran Solomon Oluwaseyi (Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu) and Akinloye Mariam Omobolanle (Espam-Formation University, Republic of Benin). He bared his mind on life and time of late Oba Fatola, constitution of cabinet by APC led Lagos State and Federal Government and local government elections. Excerpts:

Asiwaju Basorun 3

Asiwaju Basorun

IMPACT: Our condolences on the demise of King Fatola sir. As Asiwaju (Leader) of Igbogbo, how can you describe the person of late Oba Fatola?
Asiwaju Basorun: He was a humane, kind-hearted and loving traditional ruler. He held no grudge and forgave in little time. I am short of words to describe him, all I said in my condolence message on the banner was: “Good night, good king”.
IMPACT: The king ruled for 36 years, how would you describe his reign?
Asiwaju Basorun: The town expanded tremendously and this made Igbogbo attractive to people from all places. The development was not done only by the indigenes of Igbogbo but also by other residents who came to settle in Igbogbo from all walks of life after they realized that the place is naturally habitable and holds great promises in the future. During his reign, we got new schools in addition to the existing ones. These schools were also given face-lift during his tenure by the government. The main road that leads into Igbogbo which is the Oba Omolaja Ogunlewe was rehabilitated and expanded into a four-lane road. The road of Baiyeku, Oreta and Ofin were improved upon and tarred under his reign. Though at present they are presently in need of attention and I believe our governor will see to that as soon as he settles down to work. Also, during his reign, government initiated two housing estates with the both to contain 500 housing units each and ready for sale to the public. Of the two housing estates, one has been completed and named Adeboruwa while the second is still under construction and hopefully, it should be completed soon. Ikorodu was also divided into six Local Government Councils and his reign witnessed the creation of Igbogbo/Baiyeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) with headquarters at Igbogbo. We have had two elections, the first chairman was Prince Jimoh. A. Ogunmuyiwa and the second was Hon Gbenga Basanya. Currently, our council is led by a Caretaker Committee headed by Hon Taye Orenuga.
During the reign of King Fatola, the “Igbogbo Day” was introduced in the year 1988 and since then it is been held on annual basis. The Igbogbo day has been more than just a day of social merriment. For instance, funds gotten from the first Igbogbo day was used to provide street lights for the community (from Lagos Civil Service College to Club 24). Funds realized in subsequent celebrations have been used for various developmental purposes like maintenance of Igbogbo Stadium, construction of Adeboruwa Palace Pavillon etc. Irrespective of our political and religious affiliations we come together during the celebration to merry and work for Igbogbo development. We hope to celebrate another edition this year if the King’s demise would not prevent it in anyway. Most importantly, Igbogbo enjoyed relative peace during King Fatola’s reign. Before he ascended the throne, there were disputes which are normal when many people are jostling for position but this was resolved and since then the entire town has been working in harmony. His selection as Oba was approved by the Lagos State Government on June 29th in the year 1975 and he died also on the 29th of June 2015; as if it was planned. I believe it is a reflection of his goodness.
IMPACT: The Olisa/regent of Igbogbo heads the traditional council that is handling the necessary traditional rites for the passage of the late Oba. Are there any other burial arrangements apart from the traditional one?
Asiwaju Basorun: The family and other groups might hold parties but the 12th of September have been chosen as the day for the end of all traditional rituals and it is only then any other activity could take place. The family, club and chiefs definitely have plans.
IMPACT: From what you mentioned, you talked of the kingship disputes that had always characterized Obaship selection in most communities and Igbogbo is not immune. How do you think Igbogbo situation would play out?
Asiwaju Basorun:The kingmakers who are the Oluwo, Olisa, Aro, Apena and the Odofin of Igbogbo according to the 1957 Declaration re saddled with the responsibility of selecting a king for the community. I believe it would be peaceful as the chiefs are clamouring for a peaceful and fair process. It is not the government that selects king for any community but the people through the Kingmakers, the government only ratifies the kingmakers’ decision. In declaration of Igbogbo kingship four royal families are recognized Fadugba, Ayanfolu, Rademo and Ijaoba. Since the other three houses have had their turn, it is now the turn of Ijaoba and how they go about the presentation of their candidate(s) to the kingmakers is none of my business. There is also attempt to increase the ruling houses to five, but the process has not been concluded, so as it stands today, there are four ruling houses and I hope those concern would follow the normal process so that we can have a peaceful process
IMPACT: What type of king are you expecting after Oba Fatola?
Asiwaju Basorun: I expect a king that would step into the shoes of his ancestor to be well-grounded. He should be educated, enlightened and God- fearing.
IMPACT: People have been questioning why the APC led government has been unable to constitute a cabinet both at the federal and state level.
Asiwaju Basorun: Constituting a cabinet is a function of many things. For the Lagos State governor is restructuring the ministries. He has to finish the restructuring before he appoints people to cabinet. If he should constitute cabinet during this restructuring, in what ministry are they going to be? For instance, the governor does not want the Ministries of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs he wants it to be ministry of Local and community development. Also has the ministry of rural development and home affairs. He (the governor) wants a ministry of tourism and culture. So, i believe by the time he does all the restructuring, he will go ahead and announce the ministers.
For President Buhari, he has mentioned severally. In the social media, we learnt that he sent about 36 names to the security agencies and only three of them went through the screening. A number of people cannot qualify because they will not pass the test of corruption. So let those who are corrupt go and let those who want to serve the nation be. And he has gone to the USA and has been approved which is the number one nation in the world. When the US speaks, there no objection. Even from those in the east. And if God has sent to us a person who will put things right in Nigeria, who are we to go back? Indications since his take-over will show that he really meant business. So, we have to be patient. Some people are giving him 100 days, it depends. As my personal opinion, during the illness of ex-President Yar’ Adua, there was a halt in governance and system break down. Some people said he was approving contracts which were false. The vice president who was on seat was not approved so the whole thing got loosed. When he got power, he was not able to restore the system back to normal.
No one has said anything on the allegations by Governor Adams Oshiomole of a monster who had $6 billion. Even while he was criticizing Okonjo Iweala, you would realize that a lot of things had gone wrong. The president is someone who is not interested in luxury instead he is interested in the welfare of the masses. We are going to be surprised that even those we do not expect would make the list. Not many politicians can go through screening the way Mr President does it. Even if he were to screen the national Assembly, 80% of them would not sale through because the interest of the people are not in their mind which is sad and just be reversed. 95% of the wealth of today is in the hands of 5% of the population which should be reversed.
IMPACT: Politicians have been showing interest in the election of chairmanship in the Local Government Council.
Asiwaju Basorun: They are wasting their time. Because this is a government that has not constituted its cabinet and not put commissioners in place, would he leave that uncompleted and begin to talk of Local government elections. So, there should be no hurry if those hustling for the chairmanship believe they have the people’s interest in mind which they do not have. Most of them believe if you want to be in luxury, you have to be a council chairman or a councilor. Let them go and work, when the time comes, the government will hold elections. I believe what is being corrected would flow to the LG’s level and those to be chairmen would be properly screened. They say they have no money for development but would collect revenues and pocket them. They get salaries and allowances that should be enough. We are still watching President Buhari.

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