The Member-Elect Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Doherty Olukoya David in a no holds barred interview has expressed much hope in what subsidy removal will do to Nigeria’s sick economy, the young and energetic grassroots personality also reeled out his plans for Amuwo-Odofin constituency 2 given the mandate to represent them at the state Assembly. He lamented the state of abandonment and retrogression the area had suffered due to wrong choice of legislators promising to give the constituency and constituents a new lease of life….
Who is David Olukoya Doherty?
I am Doherty Olukoya David representing Amuwo-Odofin constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
I was born and bred in Kirikiri town here in Amuwo-Odofin, to the Theophilus Oladele Doherty family,my father served government meritoriously till he retired and he is now late, I attended Reservation Primary School Tolu Village, furthermore I left Lagos to my home town, where I attended Ibefun Ilado Comprehensive High School.
What was the experience like growing up, were there any memory of the past that seemingly prepared you for this new stake?
Growing up I was exposed to life on the street so from there I decide to start playing the street politics. I learnt a lot about happenings on the streets but one thing stood out for me which I took from my father, he will always instruct us to never joke with any opportunity availed by government, like voters card,LASSRA even NIN, go and get registered. He will always tell you to take such seriously. When it is time for census you are to stay at home to be counted. I later deduced that my father was only trying to tell me whoever you are the impact of government in your life is quite important.
Given the new pedestal where you are now, what may likely witness a change in your personal lifestyle
Definition of roles as a legislator and not a local government chairman need be spelt out right from the word go, people need differentiate between the two. We are all out to ensure that in every area of our constituency we give the dividend of democracy to our people because they voted for us. They having entrusted us with their votes, we should be able to do the right thing.
Normally any man that wants to grow up one day will first of all stand and walk. We are just starting and I practically believed we will do all we can to attract development for our people and to our constituency.
You seem to have long envisaged this time will come given the boldness and firm carriage you exhibit?
I developed this attitude of being with politicians, doing a lot of things with them. I was just doing all those things feeling with government I am okay, I do know a lot of big politicians with whom I had great rapport. I envisaged that a day like this will come so back then monies I made in my business, I used in supporting a lot of politicians, even the guy with whom I contested the seat in this last election,I know how much I gave him and my efforts in his previous election that made him win my constituency, he knows me very well that was why he did not believe what is happening.
Given my kind of person I don’t attempt what I cannot achieve, I will not promise someone twenty thousand naira when I know fully well I can’t afford it . So I don’t preach what I cannot do. See me like one of those guys you think was catching fun on the streets but then planning ahead to win in future.
I do my things moderately, listen to the voice of elders and lots of counsel, but all the same I am a business man I worked with Fagbems oil and gas but I identify with my people on the streets, you know they also have a role to play in ensuring one is a success story out there.
Lagos Assembly as the next port of call, what really prompted you to jostle for the seat?
You know looking at a particular thing people normally have varying perspective and view points, for me it all started with my move to join the CDA in my area to help champion the course for development there about ten years ago. While there what the former Lagos State governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is passionate about at every stakeholders meetings I attended as a representative of my CDA is how to ensure a formidable CDA, we in the same vein built a strong CDA in Kirikiri town my community to the extent that we made sure we held depot owner association to ransome to do our roads. When they were reluctant on the grounds that the government would not allow them to fix the roads, we asked them to use our CDA certificate because it is a government approved property, that was what we used to make sure they construct that road. That goes a long way to show that CDA has power. On that premise I reviewed the whole situation concerning most of those we voted to serve, I discovered once they are voted in to office, for three years you will not see them till it is time of another election that they resurfaced again begging for our our votes and there is no development in my community. I looked at it and said no this cannot continue in fact I did not even tell any of my exco what I had in plan. I went ahead to the pick the form at our party secretariat to enable do what I have to do, before they knew what was happening they’ve started seeing my posters outside, being the Chief Security Officer of my community so when they now see my posters the whole of the youth body say in fact they don’t have choice, this is our member we have to work for him even if he is not going to win.
What will be your main target in the Lagos State House of Assembly?
The target is this first of all when one gets to a new setting or place you don’t step there with your two legs at once, but need put one leg up and one down to observe what is happening in the house, you listen, you will hear people talk, I mean those that were there before you listen to them, see the way they do their things in a short while you have to pick up and make sure you come up with your bills and lobby to have them passed as well because you are not there to come and fill your own pockets, you are there to represent people who are expecting more from you.
So there is no how you will not listen to people there, get your answer after which you begin to come up with Bills that will survive to the stage of being passed into law and at the end of the day you will get all you needed. A man that is hungry on getting to a food canteen and was asking if they have rice? Is such a man really hungry? He is not, when you are really hungry once you get to a food canteen you ask the attendant there to give you food, it is that simple. They will give you what they have and you will eat it, because you are hungry, it might not be your choice. In Amuwo-Odofin constituency 2 we are hungry.
No good roads, nothing to write home about when it comes to what the government is doing for the other constituencies. We don’t have anything, water to drink, zero over hundred, light- zero over hundred, school for students is in deplorable state. If you go to our local primary schools you will confirm what I am saying. To the extent that we old students sometimes contribute money to buy furniture and books for students. Back in our days in school there is this scheme by the government known as SMC, they go on school inspection both students and teachers every week those are no longer available. Nowadays teachers abdicate their core responsibility of teaching to sell things in school. They have turned our local primary schools to another thing, that is why you see our parents are taking their children to private schools and we have government we voted for, so what is our gain?
For me, it is time I bring change for my people. I want my people to see the dividend of democracy in Amuwo-Odofin 2 Oriade LCDA.
Given the peculiarity of your constituency, particularly the presence of many tank farms within the area especially at Ijegun Egba axis, what will you do differently to rewrite history and positively change the narrative as regards development, given your new legislative calling?
Really as a legislator if I say I have the power I might not be right but I still have the power. It is in two ways, you know when there is a case you needed to solve you will tender it before the people, who are in the real sense supreme, they will weigh the case and make a decision on how to go about it. In fact before my first hundred days in office I envisaged calling a Community Development Association meeting, I have just seven wards this will be done ward by ward, starting from ward D to the last ward which is ward I. Once I am done with the community we will then have town hall meeting, anything we gather together from there is what we take to the stakeholders forum. There and then we will table before them, this is what your host community is complaining about you how do we go about it? You know where I am driving towards, each community has tank farms but with me I am going to be a support to them, I am not going to give too much burden but they have to be responsible by doing what is know as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This is their responsibility to the host community it is normal, this includes a lot of things; giving jobs out to them, making sure their environment is taking care of, because when you are doing your business in a place and their roads are not motorable and you are not doing anything then you are not doing well. When working in a community and their streets are littered with waste by people coming to their community to transact business in their area and you are not doing anything to address it, tank farms should have fire service station in every of the community they are using, they should have an health care centre there as well, there are a lot to do, that is why I am telling you that even me I need help. In fact I always tell the ward exco to that I cannot know everything, but anywhere you see that I have not made impact or clearly going wrong please call me back to order.
The need for legislative synergy as new policy that will drive development must be backed by legislation, given your plan to uplift your constituency and constituents how do you want to ensure this does not contradict existing laws at the federal level?
Overtime my experience thus far during the induction meeting with the principal officers and other ranking members, all we discussed is giving me joy because they always tell us our coming to the house is not to go and practice partisanship, whether you are from the Labour Party or APC does not count within the house but rather how are we going to develop the state? How are we going to make Lagos State move forward? Knowing that we are one family, with that at the back of your mind you are rest assured that whatever problem you have will be laid bare and you will get a solution as someone will be ready to put you through, even if he knows this thing is not going to work, he will tell you straight. That which will work he will also tell you with counsel that you will have to go through a due process,so it is always like that. Not minding the political undertone, it worths being practice whether you are a novice or not it is not a big deal, because even in your house you give instructions to your wife for your children to abide by regarding when to stay indoors which must not be flouted. The mother will equally communicate your instructions to them,so all you need to do is to just carry out the instructions given to you but by the time you deviate from the given instructions you start to look for needless troubles.
Subsidy removal issue and the people on the street, given your experience in the sector how will you speak to the perception out their that the action was intended to bring more hardship to the commoners?
I wholeheartedly support Mr President’s decision on subsidy, Baba has spoken well. Talking about subsidy who really understand what it meant among these people on the streets? There are some set of people collecting this money,as far as Nigeria is concerned we consume 60 million litres of fuel every year, the analogy is this, they brought this item into the market saying they want to sell it for 500 naira, government now insist that okay don’t sell it for 500 naira because I don’t want to punish my people, sell it for 185 naira, minus that amount from 500 you will have 315 naira, okay I will be paying you that yearly so as to make sure that the citizen has their satisfaction but instead of doing that which the government had agreed with you, you keep on killing the government over it, the government are dying they pay excess of money they are supposed to pay for subsidy every year, I reiterate my take on Baba’s action, he has spoken well whoever tackles that is the enemy of this country- Federal Republic of Nigeria. You will see it very soon negotiation will come, he will pay the subsidy but negotiation will come and fuel will go back to a price that will be stable for people to buy it. As at yesterday I bought it too- 488 naira per litre not because I have the money to buy it but because I need it. If Nigerians begin to reason that the problem that is on ground has to be looked into, an individual accept first before the government because we are our problems too. Okay the fuel on which government had already paid you subsidy because they are no longer paying subsidy from a particular time, you increased your pump price, I am talking about the fuel you had in stock prior to the time, so is it the government that ask you to sell it at that rate? He is selling it that way because of his own selfish interest. I would not be a part of people that will tell the government to come and settle their home feuds. A lot of them will have problems with their wives at home and will be saying it is the government’s fault. Did the government come to your house to fight your wife? Does it mean because you have financial problem, that now warrant you to fight your wife at home? You ask yourself a lot of questions, check what happened to the university students where one lecturer will teach in five universities and there are other lecturers that doesn’t even have one job to do and we are complaining government did not pay lecturers, one lecturer will leave university of Lagos to go and lecture in University of Ibadan, much later to Nsukka to lecture and next ABU, only you collecting money from government in four different institutions. Gradually this country is dying and most of the problem is being caused by the individual not even the government.
More a self drill now, can you avail us the scope and coverage of your constituency, Amuwo Odofin 2?
My constituency starts from Kirikiri town and ended at Ijegun Imore. I have seven wards namely Kirikiri town ward D, Mazamaza,Agboju till Oluti in ward E, ward F Satellite, Ijegun, CBN estate, ward H is anything from Alakija till Abule Osun and some part of the riverine, ward I is Ijegun, Imore, Alowo and Igbologun.