Youth activism, community service brought me into politics – Osun Deputy Chief Whip

    I have the opportunity to help some people into O'MEAL, the beneficiaries cut across PDP, SDP and APC, I am a party man but dividends of my office cuts across everybody

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    Pleads for financial autonomy for the legislature

    Recounts how he made his way to become the deputy chief whip in his first appearance at the chamber

    Bagged Lions Club community service award

    Honourable Abidemi Gbenga Ogunkanmi, the representative representing Ayedire state constituency in the State house of assembly was featured in an interview with our corespondent.

    What led you into active politics Sir?

    Being someone who came from a humble background and I have lived in this state almost all my life, I know so much about this environment. It was so rough and tough when I decided to join active politics as a youth, but the zeal in me to serve my community and to give power to the youths was my strength. Thank God today for how far he has brought me.

    As a youth, what has been your contribution to the youth development in your constituency?

    Well, as a legislator there is limit to what we can do, but to answer your question,

    i. I have always been there for the student’s and their Union, to the best of my ability, being a former union leader myself.

    ii. Sports development in my constituency has improved, I give my best to give financial support to the sport activities. You can go to my constituency to find it out.

    iii. I have embarked on several empowerment schemes since I came into office and there are still a lot underway. To mention a few.

    What has been the ratio of your achievement in office in tandem with your campaign manifestos ?

    Firstly, I felt the need to get closert to my people so I established a constituency office where my people can go if there is any need to get in touch with me, I am proud to tell you that the office has been effective since I got into office.

    We have been able to deliver positively on the campaign manifesto, I offered scholarships to 15 students across the constituency, it is going to be a 3 years program and it is all fee settled.

    Textbooks has been rolled out to at least 9 secondary school of my constituency.

    Through RUWESA, I have been able to influence functional boreholes with one standard generating set to power it. I can proudly say I have delivered on many of my promises and I can assure you that the remaining aspects yet to be touched are underway as we speak.

    It is observed that there has not been much activities going on in your constituency, there are no big projects, why?

    There has been tremendous activities going on, but the major set back we have is that every project I embark on is basically from my salary and running costs.

    This is where it is imperative to have legislative autonomy, we can not fund anything on our own, which is why it is perceived that we are not giving our best.

    I use this medium to once again appeal to the Governors go allow for Legislative and Judiciary autonomy, if we really want the best out of them.

    Do you see yourself as equally representing your constituents devoid of party affiliation?

    Yes, I see party as a platform with which one had just to nourish his ambition, once you are elected, you are got everyone.

    I have the opportunity to help some people into O’MEAL, the beneficiaries cut across PDP, SDP and APC, I am a party man but dividends of my office cuts across everybody.

    Some who got into the Nigeria Police Force recently by the help of God through me were not selected based on party line, you can quote me.

    How was your journey to become the Deputy Chief Whip as a first time legislature?

    I can say the trust bestowed on me by my colleagues and by the virtue of my activities in the offices I have served in the past, above all God made it possible.

    How do you see oppositions ?

    Critics or oppositions brings out the best in me, I love being constructively engaged.

    I believe they are the ones in the best position to tell me what aspects I need to touch.

    What is your relationship with the present House of Representatives member, you are from the same party, also from the same local government?

    The relationship is cordial and smooth enough, infact working together with him brought us the UBEC intervention in our schools, where teaching materials were distributed.

    You just bagged a community service award of excellence by the Lion’s Club, how did it happen?

    Like I said earlier, I see myself as a community servant who always made sure I put in my best to better the lives of the people around me.

    I never knew they (Lions Club) are aware of any of my programs and services, surprisingly, they brought me the award and briefed me of how long they have been investigating my activities.

    How does the award make you feel ?

    Well, it is a boost to do more, it shows no matter what one is doing, there are some people watching closely. I appreciate the Lions Club for recognizing my service to the community and I promise to give more.

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