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In this interview with Olaleye Aluko, Dayo Israel, a chairmanship candidate for the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Lagos State, shares his vision
What would you say is your motivation for wanting to contest the Chairmanship of the Lagos Mainland Local Government?
I have over 19 years of experience in international development. I have been in several engagements focused on poverty alleviation and driving Sustainable Development Goals. These are at different levels of government. I have also been in international forums that allowed me to implement a lot of projects.
One of my plans is to build a learning and resource centre like the dream centre in Gbagada, Lagos State.
I had once worked on a 10-year strategic framework, where I implemented the Women-In-Business project. I was also a Senior Special Assistant way back in Ile-Ife, Osun State, to Senator Jide Omoworare. We did a lot of projects, building alliances. These are the experiences I want to bring into place in the Lagos Mainland LGA.
You were also with the Lagos State Violence against Children campaign. What was your achievement?
Yes. That programme, which was a partnership between the Lagos State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund, focused on violence against children and it helped to reduce that scourge drastically. We have protected more children in Lagos. We have lots of cases followed up. That is the paramount achievement.
Looking at Lagos Mainland, I want you to address the area of insecurity and upsurge in crime, which the area is witnessing.
Insecurity and crime are first an issue of poverty. Why are they synonymous with poverty? When people are unemployed and idle, they go out to commit crime.
When there are energy and zeal, and people cannot see where to channel them appropriately, they go out to commit crime. If the government does not support them to channel their energy well, there will be a crisis.
People need sources of income and have to start doing something. On the Lagos Mainland, as a result of poverty, people have been pushed into crime. One of my approaches therefore is the carrot-and-stick approach.
We have to engage our young people, families and communities. We have started speaking to investors and we hope to bring about a new learning and resource centre.
I plan to have a 10-storey facility, where the Mainland Library presently is. That facility is going to be a major resource centre for our youths. I am not coming into governance to arrest people.
It is aimed at restoring the glory of the Lagos Mainland area.
Such efforts like the resource centre will also serve as a source of revenue for our local government. So, when youths are busy, they will engage in less crime.
We want to build Lagos Mainland Estate in the Epe area of Lagos State, Shimawa and Mowe areas of Ogun State. We want to build estates outside our local government, but the revenue will come back to the Lagos Mainland. Some of our youths who are educated will be asked to manage these places.
What will happen to the large crop of youths who are not educated? How do you bring them in?
I recently sent some youths, who did not go to school for adult education. Most of our youths have an average secondary school education. There has been empowerment. I did 140 vocational skills for 6,700 people in the area. We had lots of dignitaries from the Lagos State Government at that programme. I have been focusing a lot of my advocacy on youth training.
Now, let’s look at the older generation. How do you wish to get into the hearts of the people of the communities?
I did a health fair and I looked for the community that was much neglected. They said it was Ilaje and Otumara areas. We took a breast cancer and cervical programme there.
Governance is about the ability to solve problems.
The people know that when I get there, I will be doing this on a larger scale.
Don’t you feel intimidated when you realise you have to contest against elderly people?
They should be intimidated by me. Why should I be intimidated by them?
What I mean is that politics is not just about solving problems, but the fact that you have to have some godfathers?
I think I also have my ability to play at that level. I have worked with at least four former presidents of this country. I have interacted and learnt from them.
By May 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari will be two years in office, what is your personal assessment of his administration?
I believe that the challenges are very high, but they are not insurmountable. The President is doing his best to transform the country. I believe the dynamics are huge and you also have to satisfy all political interests. Economically, there is a lot that could be done better. Our President needs a bit more time to adapt to the Nigeria of 21st century. There is a lot more that can be done in fighting poverty.
What do you see happening in 2019?
We are all watching and waiting and seeing where the country will take us to. I know that after our President has been able to lay a good foundation for this country, we will be able to produce a younger President for the country.
Why is it that when one goes on your website, it keeps saying, “We’ll be right back”. What is happening?
(Laughs) It is just because there are lots of technicalities. We are trying to build an optimised website and to project the brand. That fault will be rectified this week.
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