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Labour Party Candidate Agege 01, Jafojo berates Obasa’s acclaimed feat…two term speakership a waste



Labour Party Candidate Agege 01, Jafojo berates Obasa’s acclaimed feat...two term speakership a waste
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A scion of the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Chief Rafiu Bakare Jafojo, Prince Adeniyi Jafojo the Labour Party Candidate for Agege constituency 01 in the state house of Assembly has declared that Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa’s two terms speakership has not brought any good ambience to Agege, cites his alleged deceitful political mien as an ill wind that must no longer prevail in the polity. The well exposed Jafojo added that his aspiration is much of a need to fulfill the age long desires of his late father whose initial ambition was to clinch the house of Assembly seat before he was offered the Deputy governorship position by the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Jafojo also charts a new course for the development of the constituency he noted is densely characterised by a youthful demography in this interview with National Daily.

Given your adept understanding about the polity and your family’s pedigree, why do you opt for the house of Assembly and not House of Reps as the name Jafojo sure rings a bell?
I have always had the ambition to contest the Lagos State House of Assembly, because I am a born Awori man, I am from Lagos and a strong member of the Awori Welfare Association of Nigeria and I have always believed before you can change a particular society you must first come from within, first change that your community first then you can now venture out to say you want to go to the national level. So my vested interest had always been in Lagos and for the right reasons, because I am basically a Lagosian, my grandfather is from Agege, and my grandmother was from Ikeja. So based on my background you can see I have a vested interest in Lagos.

What more can you say really made your made the desire to represent Agege well up more in you aside the lineage connection?
As far back as 2016 I contested as local government chairman because I have seen things that are not right as a citizen of the state Lagos and country Nigeria.

Kindly cite some of these things that are not right in precise terms?
Agege is obviously known and noted for youthful restlessness, we are not doing anything to curb that, we must find a way to curb it also we are not taking ample advantage of the SMEs, these are small medium scale enterprises and that is the engine room of any economy this is not being leveraged upon, we need to make our people employers of labour and one of my ways that I believe is very significant to curbing youthful restlessness is sports, with that I am not referring to your typical football everybody loves to play but I am talking about in-door sports like takwando,judo, table tennis, lawn tennis and more because it gives room for us to expose this our youths that have so much energy and don’t know what to use it for, so that they can use it in the right way that would yield a lot of profits not only for them but for also the environment and we want to be very supportive in all these ideas because I believe that is the way forward, but we keep talking about this youthful restlessness but we don’t see anybody doing anything to curb it. That is the problem.

Is it that Agege is bereft of good hands aside a particular individual who over time has been returned to the assembly to represent the constituency 01 till date?
It is not that Agege lacked people that can do the job, we have too much of them capable hands who can do that job, but I remember when I was in APC as a former member every time of election Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa had always pleaded with the leaders that be some of whom are dead now while others are still alive, he pleaded with them and they in turn come back to us that we should calm down. They say ‘don’t worry this is his last term and he wouldn’t want to go again’. The last time that such a plea came was at the last election which they pleaded with all of us again that since he is going for Senate thereafter he is not going to contest for House of Assembly anymore but before we know it, lo and behold he just did a 360 degrees turn around and said no I am not going for Senate anymore I want to remain in the Assembly. Then some of us felt like it is seems you leaders are not being truthful to us and that is why some of us decided to leave the party.
Some leaders did come around to endorse Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa for another term back then, so he agreed according to report.
I don’t know who those leaders were, if they are real leaders, because one of my leaders that I know who is late now Professor Samuel, I remember having a meeting with him then and he pleaded with us, that this was his last term, just allow him afterwards you guys can come up and contest for the exalted seat, but unfortunately he reneged and nobody is getting any younger, is it when we are 70years old that we will now say we want to contest for Lagos State House of Assembly? No, because we have realized that all the other caucuses within APC were not been carried along. I was of those that donated souvenirs for his campaign in 2019, so it is not like I just came up and say I want to now face him or contest against somebody, I was formerly within the party as a strong member but this people refused to give us any room to breathe and if you have such thing happening there is no other options but to pitch your tent somewhere else, which is what we have done.

APC to PDP and now to Labour can you let us into the basis for the exodus?
We joined Lagos 4 Lagos led by Jandor and he as an Awori man we shared that bond and he pleaded that we Awori politicians should come and work with him. Promising he is going to be there for us and that he is not going to be like all other leaders who just use and dump. Some of our Awori leaders also tried to plead on his behalf, we agreed, we followed him on getting to PDP I came out as one of the people that wanted to contest but we never had a primary, none was done and at that time when it dawn on us some of the PDP aspirants now went to court, though I was not part of them because as at the time I had left PDP for Labour Party but they have always been saying that they are not going to agree, so Jandor just singlehandedly picked somebody, if he had picked an Awori man or a Lagos indigene I would say okay but he now picked somebody outside Lagos, a candidate that is not even popular as I am. So some of my leaders pleaded with me to come to Labour party and I obliged and those guys now proceeded to court and the high court nullified that primary election.

Are you saying as at now they have no candidate in PDP for Agege 01?
That is what we hear.
What edge do you think you have over other contenders, which places you on the radar as the hope that Agege deserves come Saturday poll?
I am the son of the former deputy governor of Lagos State in the person of Chief Rafiu Bakare Jafojo, we’ve come from a long line of progressives, we believe in helping the people, we are also a strong member of Afenifere, a group that believe in helping people, I am a strong member and also the publicity secretary for AWAN- Awori Welfare Association of Nigeria, I am also an indigene of Lagos State.
Now all that summed up, I have never had it in history that an Awori man has been the Lagos State House of Assembly member. So we believe it is our time, it is our time to come out, it is our time to contest for that exalted seat. One of the things we planned to do once we have the mandate is to form a unity government, that will carry everybody along, we are not going to marginalize any particular group, we are not gonna ostracize anybody we are going to work together, because I believe that getting to that exalted seat is not by my doing or my popularity but one because of God, then two because of different groups that will come together and put us in that office.
Looking at the emergence of Labour Party it is not a particular group that took the party to where they are today because at one point in time nobody recognized or followed Labour Party, but because different groups here and there; the youths, the elites and the different tribes we have in Lagos being the melting pot , so they all came together and push Labour forth, whereby it is now becoming a party that is fully recognized. People see that that is the party that want to contest with APC .

Sentiment of Speakership position held by the incumbent Speaker Rt. Hon. Obasa will be played up side by side the accruable benefits the office attracts from far and near, how prepared are you for the dynamics this may bring about?
Number one what has the speakership position he held brought to Agege? What have we enjoyed in Agege? What new things? Is it the building of recreational centres? Is it creating a lot of jobs for our women and men? What is it that we have really enjoyed ? Is it perfect express road? What is it that his being a Speaker has attracted? If you go to some other constituencies where they don’t have a speaker, they are better looking than us, in Agege it is every day they fix their shock absorber because the roads are bad, so what advantage had the people of Agege really enjoyed having Speaker for two terms? Personally speaking I haven’t seen the advantages, that is why a lot of people like us will come and say we must challenge that structure, we must come against and talk about all these things, for so long we have been covering it. We have covered it for almost two terms which is eight years for me that is just too long. Labour is a people oriented party and our plans is that by God’s grace when we get to that exalted seat we are going to work with the people to improve their lives because that is basically what we are coming for. We want people to enjoy the dividends of democracy, we don’t want it to be a partial kind of thing, where a certain group only enjoys, it is everybody because it is not only that group that made you an Assembly member.
It is people coming together putting hands on deck for that to made it come to realization, so we planned to work with all shades of people, that is why we keep telling the people we are going to practice a unity government it is not just one person a group of people that will enjoy the largesse of the state all of us will come together and work putting all hands on deck.

Given your knowledge of Agege, what are the areas you will accord priority if you eventually clinch the seat?
One of the areas that a lot of works needs to be done is my ward, ward C Papa-uku Dopemu, maybe because we never had a local government Chairman or Assembly man that came from there, all that Awori side we feel neglected. Nothing has been done in all those areas they come and talk, telling us all the great things they have in store for us once they come you won’t see them again for another four years, when the next time of election comes around and we are the largest ward here in Agege constituency 01, there is no other ward as big as ours. So my people in that particular ward prompted me to come out and contest for this position. It is a democratic process anybody can come out and contest for any position under any party. So my position has always been this, if you have done well your works will speak for you, if you have not done so well your works will speak against you, that has always been my position.

Prior to now has there been any personal promise that once I am done it will be your turn or?
No there was nothing like that and you have to remember that it is not just only me, it is a group of people other politicians that say okay let him go one more time so you guys would have your chance when you can now contest, like what applies in the Reps, every time he comes to plead with the leaders, they will plead to the younger politicians, saying let him go this time, that he is going to do two terms as Speaker and nobody else has done two terms in Lagos state and we agree.

Given the interplay of politicking in Agege will you say our polity is maturing or stunted?
No, it is maturing because you have people now with the mind of their own, some of the good boys are attacking some people who they believe are going to work for Labour Party and it is our position to let them know that you cannot attack anybody. Everybody has a mind to vote for whoever they so wish to vote for, you cannot threaten anybody to come and do what you want to do, I don’t know who sent them but I know they were attacking some of our people. Three or four days ago I got a call that some APC members who had on APC shirts some of this bad boys were attacking them, they brought down and burnt my banner telling them that they know they want to work for labour party and not for APC. How do they know that, did they enter their minds? So our politics had grown especially by the advent of social media, a lot of people are passing messages via social media and a lot of people are looking at it and thinking right, we have a lot of people with brains and that is why I keep saying if you have done a good job people would support you. Why are they talking about Jakande and Jafojo era? It is because they did good things, people still talk about the works they did. Those days they referred to UPN as party ‘Mekunnu’ it is like Labour Party, it doesn’t have money but it is because of the good works they did, if you have done so well and it is visible to the people in their community they are going to come out and support you and that is why we are asking them that come Saturday March 18th they should come enmasse and support their son Prince Adeniyi Jafojo.

Was this your aspiration at any point born out of a direct instruction from your late father Chief Jafojo, considering his tenacity and passion for Agege’s development?
That is a very interesting question because it was when my father was alive that I contested for local government Chairman and he did prompted me to come out and contest for that position. He did not know he is going to go that quick and with his political strength we believed that he is going to support us but God knows best. To answer your question yes he has always been supportive of me both morally and financially so he had wanted me to always contest and even before he was selected by late sage Papa Awolowo to be the Deputy Governor to Alhaji Lateef Jakande, he had always wanted to contest the house of Assembly seat. As a matter fact far back then he had already bought the form but when they called for a meeting and said no we are going to use you as the deputy governor so you are not going to the Assembly, so what he wanted to do that he couldn’t do having got a good position at that same time is what I am coming out for and by the grace of God I am going to get that seat this election.

Message to the electorates in Agege 01 as they go out to vote on Saturday?
As they go to poll on Saturday I will plead to their gentle soul that they should come out enmasse and vote for their son Prince Adeniyi Jafojo, aka ‘Omo Baba Jafojo’ as the next Lagos State House of Assembly Agege 01 member, they should all come out we have been promised security and it is going to be free and fair so they shouldn’t allow anybody to threaten them because what we want in Lagos state is a free and fair electoral process.

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