It’s just a few days to the much anticipated Lagos State Local Government elections, and candidates across political party platforms are putting finishing touches to convince the people of their ability to make their presence count when and if they are eventually elected.
However, while most candidates are struggling to find relevance, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the chairmanship seat of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Engineer Valentine Buraimoh, has perfected plans based on the laudable achievements of his previous service in the local government as Works Supervisor.
In his interview with ERIC ELEZUO, he further recapitulates the laudable objectives laid down for the local government when he eventually wins
My names are Engr.Valentine. I am the APC candidate for the forthcoming local government election.
Since you have scaled through the primaries, can you describe the feeling of being the sole candidate of the APC in the Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos State?
I want to thank God Almighty for the victory at the primaries because it isn’t easy when over 21 aspirants contest for the same position meant for one person. Fortunately for me, I got the party tickets and I can flag the banner of the party in the upcoming local government election. I’d like to thank God and my people who have made it possible for me to win my ticket.
Now that the primaries are over and you are moving to the stage involving other parties, what do you think stands you out?
In our local government here, APC has a very solid structure which can help it deliver the party during the forthcoming local government position. We have also been able to reach out to the people who command the votes in the Amuwo Odofin local government such as (NATAN) the National Automatic Technical Association of Nigeria, CAN which is the Christian association of Nigeria, the muslim body, the NURTW which is the National Union of Road Transport Workers, the artisans and more. All these bodies are filled with people who have the vote at their disposal. We have tried to campaign to them given the experience that we have as we have served under the former leadership of the council so we have the opportunity to give the best to our local government in terms of democracy dividends.
Becoming the Chairman means you have a laid down protocol, procedure or plan. Can you just tell us about it in a nutshell?
In our manifesto, we have very laudable programmes that will benefit all and sundry irrespective of gender, religion or status. Our government will be concerned about people’s welfare and areas where the people need assistance. For example, in our, we will provide cleaner and safer environment where drainages work well, roads are swept and lawns are mowed on a regular basis. In education, we will ensure that our pupils study under a conducive atmosphere. We will also renovate all our schools and retrain the teachers on the current curriculum as obtainable by the Lagos State SUPEB. We will also partner with National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to fill the stop gap of teachers and manpower in our primary schools. We will provide the pupils with good uniforms, writing materials and exercise books. And for children that commute the waterways on a daily basis, we will provide life jackets.
On health, my administration will run a free and fair public health centre (PHC) where health services will be free, from card procurement to administration of treatment to all and sundry. We believe that healthy is wealth and any government that has the intention of the people at heart must lay emphasis on free medical health care so that the people can enjoy the dividends of democracy in their domain. We will also conclude plans to design an empowerment scheme, which will come in many ways such as employment, vocational training, ICT training, and microfinance. We also have opportunity for sportsmen and women to develop their skills and be better at it.
On agriculture, we are going to partner with FADAMA to provide the necessary tools needed for farmers to work with. We are also going to be providing them with manure and land where they can plant their crops, and at the end of the day they will generate resources to feed their families and sell at a reasonable prize.
Because security is everyone’s business, we are going to be partnering with major security organizations to make sure that all the vulnerable areas in our environment are taken care of so that our residents can sleep with their eyes closed and business owners can also operate in a safe and secure environment.
These and many more are the good things that we have for the good people of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government.
Of all these programs, which would your pay more attention to?
It has to be health because what we used to enjoy in our public health centres are no longer there and we want people to re-feel the presence of government. The health centre has collapsed forcing people to migrate to the mother and child at First Gate thereby congesting it. By the time we put our health centre in place, the centre will be automatically decongested. The mother and child clinic will practically remain for those it’s meant for, and not for just anyone seeking medical help.
As a candidate of the APC, do you see any serious rival amongst your competitors?
Well, I don’t see any difficulties in the forthcoming elections knowing fully well that our amiable governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is doing a very good job in Lagos state to make sure that we move forward. In this vein, we are tapping form that source and that’s why people are eager to support us because we are willing to repeat his performance at the local government level. People are willing to vote for our party because we are doing very well at the Federal and state levels. More so, other parties have their own issues. PDP for example, is in court today and is out tomorrow. Our structure as a ruling party has helped us to be several steps ahead of our competition.
People normally look out for that good deed you might have done before to determine whether you have any great thing to offer. Is there anything you have done that people can remember you for to make them believe in you?
My experience counts, and is unrivalled. I worked for the department of works as the supervisor in the previous administration. There was no building or construction contract that did not pass through me. Most of these contracts will not have been executed if I didn’t monitor and mount pressure on the contractors to do a good and fast job. It is because of this that our roads are done with optimum quality. The roads done three-four years ago when we were in office still look like they were done a week ago and that is the kind of purpose we served in the last government. So we are going to bring it to play again and make sure that every project is appropriately executed.
With the experience I have garnered over the years, we definitely know where to go and what to in our first three months and counting. People will surely see a notable increase in government presence in Amuwo Odofin.