‘‘I Don’t Know Anything About The Demolition of Sabo Market” – Adeshina
Mr Wasiu Adeshina was the Executive Secretary of Ikorodu Central Central Local Government from January 2015 to May, 2016 and has controversially emerged as the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the coming council elections. He spoke in an exclusive interview with Kunle Adelabu, the Publisher/Reporter-in-Chief of THE IMPACT Newspaper recently on the controversies surrounding his candidacy, the demolition of Sabo market which he’s being alleged to be culpable and his programmes for Ikorodu if he eventually emerge as the elected chairman. Excerpts:
IMPACT: For the purpose of this interview, can you please introduce yourself?
Mr Adeshina: I’m Wasiu Adeshina, the former Executive Secretary, Ikorodu Centra Local Government.
IMPACT: You were incharge of the council administration for about two years as Executive Secretary and now aspiring to go back as elected chairman. What is it that you forgot in the council and why do you think that you should be the preferred candidate?
Mr Adeshina: Of course, I was there as the Executive Secretary which came through appointment and I tried my best to impact on the people and the community. The request for our return was massive by the party and the party leaders. All that we did as appointed officer were still very feasible for the people to see. We think if we are given another chance as an elected officer, we could do more and even better than we did then. We think that we still need to serve the people particularly when you consider the massive requests from our people for me to return and continue the good work I started as an appointed officer. As elected chairman, we will perform better.
IMPACT: If you had served as head of the administration of Ikorodu Local Government and now seeking to be returned in the same capacity as elected chairman, it is normal to ask what were your achievements during your tenure as Executive Secretary.What are your achievements during this period?
Mr Adeshina: As Executive Secretary, I served the people of Ikorodu diligently. We touched many areas and lives in Ikorodu during this period. My administration reconstructed Odugate street with drainage; reconstructed Ikorodu Cemetery, reconstructed culvert at Owolowo Street, reconstructed damaged culvert at Adaraloye street and construction of speed breaker on TOS Benson Avenue.
We also renovated the Ikorodu Local Government main hall, reconstructed the Local Government Complex road, general repair and refurbishment of Customary Court and renovated many offices within the secretariat complex.
As part of our achievements, we did constructed borehole water projects at Itundofin and repair existing ones at Omitoro, Eyita, Obun-Ale and Owolowo Street. These among many others are what we were able to do during my administration as Executive Secretary.
IMPACT: There is this saying by a segment of the party that your opponent would have won if primary election had been allowed by the party and that you were handpicked by the party leaders against the popular will. What is your take on this sir.Can you tell us your strength?
Mr Adeshina: Anybody can say whatever they want and more so, they are entitled to their opinions. But political observers know differently. In actual fact, we are very known to the people and have massive supports across the strata of the party and we are very sure to win the primary if there had been an election. Let me tell you,24 eminent personalities were inaugurated as political leaders in Ikorodu Local Government out of which 21 leaders are conveniently with us.More so,out of the 25 Executive members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikorodu Local Government Area, 15 were openly supporting us .Let me just pick randomly. (cut in)
IMPACT: Please tell us your strength in each of the seven wards in Ikorodu?
Let me pick randomly, in Ward A, there are 25 executive members and 16 of them are conveniently with us and Ward F, out of the 23 members, 14 of them are with us and that is the pattern in other wards. It will also interest you to know that out of the 7 Ward Chairmen, 5 are supporting me. Again, I would have won conveniently if the primary election had hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Regardless of what anybody might say, we have more supports than any other candidate but that is not important right now because we are concern about reconciliation. If not for the question you asked, I would not have mentioned anything concerning party primary or strength.
IMPACT: Going by the uproar that had trailed the outcome of the party’s controversial primary elections which produced you as the party’s candidate for Ikorodu Central Local Government , what are you doing to ensure that APC goes into the next elections as a united family?
Mr Adeshina: We are working greatly on that. The leaders have called us and made us understand the need to reconcile all members. Thereafter, I have called the APC LGA Chairman and discuss with him in that regard. I believe that there is no winner nor loser since we are all members of the same party.
IMPACT: Very important aspect of an election are programmes. What are the programmes for a sustainable development for Ikorodu that you intend to campaign with?
Mr Adeshina: We are going to follow vigorously our party’s programmes. We are not going to deviate from the party’s programmes which are very clear not only to people in Lagos State but throughout the country. The party won the national elections based on these programmes.
IMPACT: Aside the party’s programmes, what are your own programmes based on the peculiarity of Ikorodu? What are the areas are you looking at sir?
Mr Adeshina: We are going to be looking at health. We are going to pursue vigoroulsly the party’s health programme. We also want to improve on education especially in our primary schools. We started this while in office as the Executive Secretary and we improved standard of schools. We also want to encourage sport development; infrastructures; empowering our people among many others.
IMPACT: Sir, there has been a controversy surrounding the demolition of Sabo market and the whole town has condemned the incident and.The market was demolished by unknown people and the matter is now before the Lagos State House of Assembly and your person is being alleged to be involved in this being a former Executive Secretary of the council. What can you say about this sir. Let me even ask you directly, are you involved in the demolition of Sabo market?
Mr Adeshina: No. Why should I be involved in the demolition of Sabo market? In what capacity would I have been involved when I’m not a developer and I dont have any company that is interested in building anything in Sabo market? The controversy surrounding the development of Sabo market has been on for a very long time. What they are saying is all political. What is happening in Sabo market regarding the redevelopment is change and some people are jealous about that. I’m referring to the efforts to modernize the market and not the demolition. Some people are just shouting my name for political reasons. The development of Sabo market started as far back as 2013.
IMPACT: During whose tenure?
Mr Adeshina: During Alhaji Anipole’s administration and the councilors were with him then. They approved the redevelopment of Sabo market. The Councillors then were led by Hon. Jimoh Azeez Olosugbo who was the leader of the house and a member of Onward Group. There was also Hon. Awobajo, Hon. Shokunbi Adeleke and Hon. Abideen who were also Onward Group members. There were also Hon. Jaiyesimi Nurudeen, Hon. Oshodi Olorunwa and Hon. Shamsideen Ayanlaja-Bork. These are the councilors that approved the redevelopment of Sabo market in 2013. It is not as if what is happening in Sabo market is all about Onward as a body (cut in).
IMPACT:I was about to ask you why you were identifying these councillors based on their membership in Onward Group?
Mr Adeshina: It is because the Onward group members are the ones shouting most about the happenings in Sabo market. Four of the councilors that gave approval for the redevelopment of market then were Onward members. The Vice Chairman then was Hon. Waheed Omobowale and in conjunction with Hon. Olosugbo,he handled the selection of contractors for Sabo market. Three major sections have already been completed before I came on board as Executive Secretary. The contractors were Mos Construction, Nzeburibe Construction company and one Captain. These developers had completed three complexes before the advent of my administration. During this time, it was unanimously agreed by the council that the old allotees of the market should pay #600,000:00 while the new allotees will pay #1,200,000:00 for 25 years. This was the existing template we met on ground when serving as the Executive Secretary of Ikorodu Local Government. The agreement was reached after several meetings between the council and Market representatives and they all agreed to pay these amount for 25 years. Records are available in this regard. We came on board in 2015 and in 2016, we decided to bring in additional developers for the redevelopment project. During the process, Six(6) developers applied for this purpose. With this development, I decided to set up a three(3) man committee to screen and study the profiles of the developers that applied. The committee was headed by my Deputy in the person of Hon(Mrs) Owolabi Kudirat popularly called See-cash who is also a member of Onward group. They were to screen… (cut in)
IMPACT: Who were the other members?
Mr Adeshina: Others include Hon. Alokolaro who was the Secretary to the Local Government then and the Council Manager at that time. The committee recommended four out of the six developers to Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&G) which is the highest decision making body of the council then. The four developers are Biota Construction, Oluwabunmi and other two. The F&G,after deliberation, approved the four recommended developers and also went further to get additional approval from the state for the listed developers.
IMPACT: Are there records to this effect?
Mr Adeshina: There are records. After all these, some groups decided to sponsor another developer to truncate and rubbish earlier laid down arrangements.
IMPACT: Maybe you don’t know sir, this controversy has gone viral on social media where some people close to you are equally putting up same defense you are putting up. This Mrs Kudirat Owolabi you mentioned had responded by saying she was bereaved at the time and as a result was unable to perform her duty. In fact, she stated that you ran the council alone. What will you say to this sir?
Mr Adeshina: There are records to everything I did while in office. The records are there in the council to show members attendance at F & G meetings. I don’t know why she is saying this.
IMPACT: Now the matter is before the Assembly. How do you think the matter would end?
Mr Adeshina: The Assembly members would do their investigation and I know that there are eminent personalities there. I’m not a developer and I cannot develop any portion of the market and I have since left office, how then could I have demolished the market? I don’t even know any of the developers and we only gave approval to them as recommended by the committee set up for that purpose.
IMPACT: If eventually the controversies surrounding APC primary election is settled and you eventually emerge as the party’s candidate for the chairmanship position of the Ikorodu Central Local Government, how do you intend to win the council election against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?
Mr Adeshina: We are going to win with landslide result. We have done this in the Presidential, Governorship, National and State Assembly elections. The records are there which are very encouraging. We are fully on the ground as grassroots politicians. We are going to defeat them.
IMPACT: With that we have come to the end of this interview. Thank you sir for your time.
Mr Adeshina: Thank you.
- Posted in: Interview