We’ll make agriculture, health, sports, mainstay of council’s economy – Disu

Alhaji Sheu Aliu Disu is a former councillor of Ajase-Ipo I in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State and a frontline aspirant in the forthcoming council election. In this interview with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM, the former Supervisor for Works in the council speaks about why he is seeking the party’s ticket among other sundry issue of interest. Excerpts:
Why are you seeking for the ticket of the PDP to contest in the forthcoming council election in Irepodun?
My inspiration has been the appreciation of efforts that my people showed since I started politics in 2007 largely influenced by Alhaji Tajudeen Bada who I consider the best council chairman Irepodun has ever produced. There is no ward during his time that didn’t have a feel of his impactful leadership. I don’t have the capacity to give hundreds of thousands to the people but they have been very supportive of me. During my time as councillor, councils were rich in addition to the excess crude account. I built toilet facilities in motor parks and blocks of classrooms for schools in some communities in the council. These efforts to impact my people during my councillorship era really inspired me to produce selfless service to the people.
You were appointed supervisor for work in Irepodun, what was your scorecard like then?
I have tasted the hot and cold of politics in Kwara State. Cold in the sense that during my time as councillor, the councils were rich and have resources to work with and my imprints are there for everybody to see. However, my time as supervising councillor coincided with the period of global recession and we had difficulty in paying salaries. If I had started politics with such experience, by now, maybe I would have quit. As a supervisor, although we were able to grade some roads and install some transformers, it was not as we would have wanted because of the paucity of funds then and we as appointees forgo many things.
Now how will this experience reflect in your administration if elected?
With such experiences and the challenges of government in the modern day, one cannot afford to get to office and do whatever he likes. We are turning out youths as graduates yearly and the opportunity of being employed is not really there. But we have other opportunities around that I believe we can use to change the mode of governance if elected. This we can do by identifying the potentials that abound in Irepodun to bring the youth on board and promote peace and progress. In agriculture, we have green lands everywhere which was the mainstay of every economy then but is now unfortunately neglected. We will improve on agriculture and ensure that we bring graduates on board, engage and empower them to cultivate peculiar crops in each community with stipends to encourage them. We will also help to find the necessary markets for their harvests and replicate same in poultry and fisheries. Agriculture is going to be our mainstay in government to encourage our youth.
What are going to be your priorities?
Nothing can survive in an insecure environment and so we will prioritise security by working with local vigilantes to secure Irepodun for business to thrive and for the banks to return. This will allow petty traders and farmers to access loans and credit facilities for their businesses because government cannot do it all. The rate of commercial activities will improve and stimulate growth of the local economy. In agriculture, we are going to ensure that the council has a farm each in all the five zones/districts of Esie, Aran, Oro, Ajasse and others. We will also encourage the youth to go into farming which will not affect public/private partnership. Also on health, we are going to engage all our dispensaries and maternities to ensure that the people have good health through revolving drug schemes like we did during our time as councillor and promote sport and education through massive rehabilitation of schools and sport centres across Irepodun.
Do you see the PDP under which you are contesting as a viable platform to achieve your ambition?
Except we are deceiving ourselves, the issue is about candidate and not political party. When we have real party ideology was in the past during era of our national heroes. Now, people should vote for candidates that have the pedigree to deliver on promises. Anything short of that is deception. PDP to me is a very good party that has bettered the lots of the people more than the APC. I have not seen what is really progressive in the agenda of the APC as the party is priding itself because a progressive party will not exert pressure on its citizens through fuel increase, high price of foodstuff, high inflation and exchange rates and poor economy which was not the case during the PDP administration. In Kwara, those that are saying past administrations have done nothing in 16 years, our national rating as number three in IGR in Nigeria is a justification of the efforts of the past administrations and the good foundation laid for this administration. It is only a fool that will believe that balderdash. I am very happy being in PDP and a loyal party member. I believe I can do better under the PDP than APC or any other party.
Recently, the state PDP came out with a clarification statement of sort after news of your emergence as consensus candidate in Irepodun. What really happened?
You know in election situation, opposition parties have more preparation to do than the ruling parties. In Irepodun today, we have some formally opposition figures who later joined the Saraki School of politics and they know what is takes in fighting the ruling party, hence the need to start our preparation early. Going by the dictates of the ruling party will be detrimental to our own preparation. What the Irepodun chapter of PDP did was a shadow primary which is not against any law. We recognise the procedure and processes that the KWSIEC will blow the whistle before the state party executive give the guidelines. It was to test run what we are going to do at the appropriate time meant to fine tune any observed lapses noticed before the commencement of the race in line with the zoning arrangement existing in our community. At the appropriate time, we will follow the guidelines as dictated by the state chapter of the party and the State electoral commission. The exercise was done within our enclave to test run our capacity to deliver as we used to do. Any other candidate has the right to come out between now and then and we will slug it out together. We didn’t write any official letter to the party about this, it was just a local lawful arrangement.
Are you not worried that you are coming under the platform of opposition?
What has happened in Kwara and Nigeria after Dr Bukola Saraki left the scene is a vindication for him and the question is whether we are better off now security wise, economically and politically. It has even been worse it. If you are doing something without recognition from the people, God has a way of pushing you aside to open the people’s eye. If this present APC government had not have the chance to rule, we would have been saying if Buhari had been elected, it would have been Eldorado. What happened to PDP in 2019 election is just to clear some impressions that by now people must have realised that leadership is not a tea cup but a serious matter which entails serious work, focus and thinking of where you want a state to be in the next couple of years and not about using one year setting up committee to probe government from 1999 to date while the people are wallowing in hunger. Everybody has seen it now and they know the capacity of PDP and APC. We have to think beyond sentiment or personal hatred for a particular personality and determine who is qualified and have the capacity to govern which is lacking for the present occupants of the offices.
What is your message?
Governance is not an easy thing and we don’t see our leaders the way we ought to. We should correct them objectively and add our knowledge to their own not by castigating them. Seventy percent of the people against PDP in the last election in civil service are those employed by Saraki as teachers and civil servants, an opportunity that some have longed for in years. We should be grateful for the little we have and continue to pray for our leaders rather that abusing them. We should pray for Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and President Buhari to succeed in their task of building the state and nation because if they fail, it will affect all of us. The judgment of any leader belongs to Almighty God.

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