Nobody Can Impose Candidate In APC Again – Alhaji Jinadu, Ikorodu APC Chairman
IsAlhaji Rilwan Jinadu is the current Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikorodu and Chairmen of all APC Chairmen in the Lagos East Senatorial District. He bore his mind on the coming local government elections, preparedness of his party and his own aspiration with Kunle Adelabu, Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief of THE IMPACT Newspaper and Augustine Onu, a trainee reporter.
THE IMPACT: : Can we meet you sir?
Alhaji Jinadu: I am Alhaji Ridwan Ishola Jinadu, APC chairman for Ikorodu Local Government.
THE IMPACT: How do you want to rate the performance of your party which has been in power in the state since the commencement of this democratic dispensation?
Alhaji Jinadu: When we talk of sincerity, one can quickly realize that the party, since the creation of Alliance for Democracy (AD),has been performing. That can easily be judged with the position of Lagos State from 1999 till date. The first 8 years of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was full of excellent performances, subsequently ,Fashola came in to further make Lagos State a place of exemplary performance for other states in Nigeria. And we can as well see that since the emergence of Akinwunmi Ambode as governor, he has been performing wonderfully well as well, going by the construction of roads, provision of health facilities and some other things. If you are not shying away from your senses of responsibilities, you will surely see that we are performing wonderfully well.
THE IMPACT: Yes, people have been commending the performances of APC government, but others ,especially those in the opposition parties,are also saying that your party is performing woefully especially at the local government level. What can you say to this?
Alhaji Jinadu: Obviously ,the 57 Local Governments and Local Council development Areas are there with their challenges. You cannot compare what you are having at the local government now to what was happening in the past years. Before the creation of another six Local Council Development areas (LCDA), the bulk of money meant for the council normally come to Ikorodu Local Government but at the moment,the federal allocation is being divided into six parts and what do you expect the Local Government to do with that? It is only the State that is complimenting the performance of the local Governments presently. The present governor has also increased his support for the councils like provision of two roads per Local Government in Lagos State with a total of 114 roads completed at the first instance. If that has been in place for the past eight years, you know what Lagos State would have gotten at the grassroots level. Nobody can say there is nothing at the Local Government level to me.
THE IMPACT: What is the party doing to resolve the issue of making the LCDAs full fledge Local Governments?
Alhaji Jinadu: That cannot be done by Lagos State on its own.To have the LCDAs transform into proper Local Governments, it has to go through legislative processes right from the state level to the National level and we have been on this for a very long time. I believe for now that we are having our party at the National level, it will be easier for us. We are still working on it to have the 37 LCDAs enlisted in the constitution so that they can be getting their allocations direct from the federal level. Hopefully by this time next year something better can be heard of it.
THE IMPACT: Let us take a look at the preparation of your party towards the coming council elections. Let me ask you as the leader of the party, is there going to be Local Government elections in Lagos State?I’m asking this question based on the failure of previous administration to conduct the elections despite promises?
Alhaji Jinadu: I will say there is no way one can compare the present APC with what we have been having like AD and ACN. You can as well say that APC is a national party. A national party where an individual cannot just decide on the type of candidate that he is going to use in a public office. In the past,the overall leader of AC and ACN, for example in Lagos State ,will decide who is to be chairman, who are to be Assembly members, Senators and so on.But APC as it is presently constituted differs from what we have been having structurally because it’s a national party that includes the Hausas,Yorubas,Igbos and several other parts of the country as members, so ,as a result of this,everybody there will have to go through the primary for him/her to emerge as candidate. We have experienced it from the last general elections where we went for congresses to choose the flagbearers of the parties for Assembly, House of rep, Senatorial and Governorship positions.We are now in different clime. To your question, I am very optimistic that before the end of this month (before the party released its guidelines), the party guidelines will be released by LASIEC and when it eventually does, we will be guided by it to conduct congresses at the wards and council levels. With this, anybody thinking of imposng candidate will just be wasting his or her time.
THE IMPACT: People have been saying that Lagos state should be a model for democracy, and in that sense, people are expecting that elections should be done with ease in the state. Why is it so difficult to have a system that would encourage periodic elections at the Local Government level?
Alhaji Jinadu: As you can see, it is not peculiar to Lagos State alone ,the same thinghappens in every other state. Recently, Oyo State where Gov. Ajimobi is holding forth just inaugurated another local government council with Sole Administrators. So, it is not peculiar to Lagos State. But this time around, we have to conduct elections into the Local Government Councils. Be rest assured that nothing will stop the elections from being conducted this year.
THE IMPACT: Now that the opposition parties are saying APC is not that popular as they used to be due to the economic problems facing the country and other challenges. How prepared is your party and do you think that APC can win the coming elections if free and fair elections are conducted?
Alhaji Rilwan: We are fully prepared. Saying that we are unpopular due to the economic recession is not right. To start with, what is the foundation of this economic recession? From 1999 to 2015, we were having PDP government in place, so everything started from PDP Government. If you say the party in Government is not performing,then that maybe because you don’t see things with your eyes. Going by the number of people indicted by EFCC and the ceaseless and alarming discovery of loots ,you will understand how PDP introduced the economic problems. Have you ever witnessed any APC member among those indicted by the EFCC? So ,you can apparently see that the cause of the recession is from the PDPAdministrations. So ,I can tell you that we are fully prepared and I can as well tell you that we are waxing stronger as a party. Every month ,we see people coming from other parties to join us and increasing our strength, so come any election, our victory is certain.
THE IMPACT: Sir, you are also aspiring for the Chairmanship of the Ikorodu Central Local Government, what stands you out from other aspirants?
Alhaji Jinadu: Well, let me say this, everybody that comes out for this chairmanship position is important and qualified to be flag bearers of the party. But what stands me out is that I have been in politics before them and my experiences are also far and above what they have garnered altogether. As a trained grassroots politician, I know the problem of the party, the masses at the grassroots and what to do when I get to government. I have once served as Supervisor for Works in the Local Government Council from 2004 to 2007 and also in many capacities including my present position as the party chairman.I will not allow anybody to push me around because I know the party inside out and what the party programmes entails and I also have plans on how to implement them. Talk of provision of good roads, repair of our primary school, market managment and all the rest, I am going to compliment some of what the state government is doing. With all these, I believe I am more qualified than anyone of them. It is not as if they are not qualified, but I am more qualified.
- Posted in: Politics