The race for the chairmanship and councillorship positions in Lagos State is on, and aspirants are going the extra mile to convince both delegates and the general public to cast their votes for them for the all important duties. These they are doing by presenting the most decent of their credentials ranging from experience, manner, ability, honesty and general welfare inclination.
One aspirant who has been touted to possess all the above mentioned qualities and more is the ebullient Comrade Engineer Valentine Oluwaseyi Buraimoh, a former Head of operation and Supervisor for Work, product of the Engineering Department of the Lagos State University as well as a Masters Degree holder of the University of Lagos and a member of COREN.
He is one man who knows that to become the chairman of a local government area, one must have gone through the ladder, and acquired veritable credentials that stands him out among the rest.
Comrade Val, as he is fondly called, is presenting himself for the chairmanship of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, where he served meritoriously in the past years, under the umbrella of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He introduced himself thus during an encounter with the Boss Newspapers, an arm of Ovation Media Group
“Yes, I have really prepared myself to excel in any position. I had my elementary education at Catholic Primary School, Lagos Island from where I proceeded to St. Gregory’s College SW Ikoyi for my secondary school education. I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the Lagos State University as well as a Masters degree in Communication Engineering from the University of Lagos. I have also been privileged to be a youth leader in ward B2, FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin LGA for AC and ACN. I also served as Supervisor for Works during the leadership of former Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin LGA, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, among many other leadership positions. These have shaped my person, thinking and horizon to become the next chairman of the local government.”
However, given the general situation in the country, it will seem that the party APC may not present the leading platform for winning, a situation the comrade aspirant found untrue.
It is not true that people are not satisfied with the leadership of President Mohammed Buhari. We are in recession for nobody’s fault, especially this administration. And there is no way one will plan for the future without looking at yesterday, and making preparation for today. If not for the bad leadership we have in the past, most especially during the last administration, we won’t have been in the mess we are in today. Stories abound on how our commonwealth was distributed, among the so called officials of the immediate past ruling party, and that is what we are suffering today. Imagine a country like Nigeria cannot boast of a storage facility for our petroleum products. Nothing was achieved, even to fight Boko Haram was a dream, rather they were sharing money meant to protect the life and property of our brothers and sisters in the North.
But since President Buhari assumed the presidency, Boko Haram had been fought back to wherever they come from, unlike before when they claiming territories in the North. If not for the government of President Buhari, Nigeria won’t be as safe as it is now. He is also fighting kidnapping and the huge case of corruption,” he said
He noted that if corruption is not blocked, collectively our owned wealth will continue to find its way into private pockets, adding that with the blockade, money will be properly used as laid down in the annual budget.
“That people are castigating Buhari is far from the truth; Nigerians don’t know the truth, and I can assure Nigerians that given a little more time, matters will be solved for good.”
He lauded the efforts of the former Chairman of the LG, Comrade Adewale, saying that having worked closely with him during his tenure, he has garnered more than enough experience, and looks forward to surpassing his efforts ‘though great they are’. This is because “I have learnt a lot in terms of administration, relationship with the people, ability to focus and many more.”
The determined Comrade stated that his administration will basically be tailored along the objectives which brought about a turnaround in the former administration of Comrade Adewale, stressing that health care provision will take the centre stage.
“We enjoyed free health during Adewale’s leadership, and I intend to replicate that compulsory provision, and there is no big deal towards achieving it. These technics I have mastered and will unleash them when I become the chairman of Amuwa Odofin Local Government. I remember that when Adewale came into office, the number of doctors on ground was next to nothing, but we employed over 20 doctors to boost heath care delivery in the four districts of Amuwa Odofin, namely one FESTAC Town, one at Mile 2, and two others in the river rine area. We were running 24hours health services, and child delivery was free, as well as all forms of treatment even procurement of cards to see the doctor was also free,” he said.
But considering the way things have degenerated, even as the APC is still in charge in the LGA, it makes one wonder if the opposition party will not capitalize on such loopholes to triumph, the chairmanship hopeful was quick to point out that there is a difference between a caretaker chairman and a substantive chairman, saying that those in power at the moment have very little resources to work on.
“Well, resources have a role to play. It is when you have allocated resources to work with you can judiciously make use of allocation at your disposal, and also improve your internally generated revenue to boost the allocation from the Federal Government. The caretakers are not enjoying what the elected officials enjoy, and that may be the reason for slow pace of development and I can’t blame them for that. But trust me, everything will be free again when I get to power.”
But how does he intend to achieve this since he won’t personally monitor every move and person in the sector. He said: “What we proposed is an executive intention, and so there will be trusted and well remunerated people on ground to perform these duties. I will also undertake unscheduled visits to centres to know for myself how things are running. In all honesty, no one who intends to smear the image of the administration or frustrate our efforts will be spared because we are all paid from tax payers’ money, and it will be done in conjunction with the state’s Commissioner for Health.”
Well, health is one area, but what does Hon. Buraimoh wish to do in other sectors? He didn’t hesitate to reveal that all health centers and primary schools in the locality will be renovated as it has remained comatose since Adewale left office.
“It was last done sometime in 2010, and needs maintenance. Some of our primary school’s roofs have been blown off by the wind, and many other areas that need attention. I have been visiting all the schools in the LGA, and I know what is going on there. We will do all within our power to reduce the rate at which people move to private schools, especially now that recession is biting harder.
“Parents should be rest assured that all will be well again as we will undertake the retraining of our teachers and health workers while bringing them to date with current curriculum of Lagos State government,” he mentioned.
Buraimoh is not the type to take employment for granted as he had already earmarked areas to gainfully engage the youths, one of which is conducting poverty alleviation programmes, which will give them opportunity to engage in trading, barbing, bead making, soap making, computer proficiency and scale farming amongst others, and also provide tools for such vocation.
Not only that:
“We will also create jobs in the local government, and persuade industries in our local government to give 10 – 20 per cent of employment slots to our residents among many other strategies. We are going to roll out micro finance scheme of only 1.5% interest without collateral, so that even bread sellers and regular market men and women, can boost their trade and pay back at their convenience. In sports, we are going to encourage our youth to channel their energy for positive use, and create a level playing environment for sport activities, so that talent can be discovered both locally and internationally in our local government.
Transportation and roads
“We are going to face roads squarely and construct new ones, patch the existing one where necessary.”
Comrade Buraimoh denounced the notion being peddled by some that FESTAC Town is always the area of concentration.
“It is not true. In fact, the biggest road contract is at Mile 2, cycler road. It is an estate built by former Lagos State governor, Lateef Jakande. The road is about 2 kilometers long.
However, no one can bring any laudable project to fruition if he fails to win the election, so what mechanism has he in place to win the forthcoming primaries and the subsequent election?
“As an aspirant for now, we are meeting people one on one, and selling our programmes to them. After that, they are converted to our meeting structure, and we meet every Monday at 4pm except on public holidays,” he said.
Every aspirant naturally knows his opponent in every contest. It is therefore, obvious that the aspirant should know his. But he doesn’t see them as opponents, as everyone is still an aspirant from the same political platform, with “good intentions for our community, and when one emerges, the entire structure is collapsed into one for maximum support”.
However, proving that he is more qualified than all other aspirants, Buraimoh added: I have had the privilege to serve, and I also have been close to government. As an engineer, I supervised and constructed most of the roads during the tenure of Comrade Adewale, and I know the terrain very well. Is it in on the ground supervision, prevailing on the contractors to do a good job and many more, I am very good at them. Again, unlike others, I know the in and out of Amuwo Odofin LGA.
In humility and with total reference to the Most High God, the aspirant declared that between January and now when the consolidation meeting started, the turnout has been tremendously encouraging.
I thank God for everything. The patronage has been wonderful, and I can tell you categorically that not less than 200 people attend on a weekly basis, and sometimes up to 400. We also have ward meetings at the seven wards in Amuwo Odofin where we reach out to people at the grass roots. The way things stand now, I have no reason to worry.
“Showering eulogies on the former chairman, Buraimoh said “Your past will speak for you, and that is why you must be very careful of your present. In Amuwa Odofin LGA, we have never had any chairman like him considering what he did in the area of development, welfare of staff, welfare of the residents and environment, among others. He’s been the best so far, and whoever he supports, surely has an upper hand. Any enemy he has are from within, not the general public and party members because they love him.”
Any threat from co-contestants as the contest progresses
“Nothing like that, in fact people know we are the best choice for the office, because we have been there before, and our works speak for us.”
HIGHLIGHTED PROGRAMMES OF COMRADE ENGINEER VALENTINE OLUSEYI BURAIMOH (J.P)
WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
1) Road construction rehabilitation and maintenance
2) Construction and maintenance of quality public bore holes for quality water supply.
3) Construction and maintenance of drainages, monitoring and control.
4) Construction and maintenance of schools
5) Construction of more recreation centers
6) Construction of more primary health centres
7) Construction of an ultra modern market and maintenance of the existing once
8) Construction of a fence for Mile 2 low-cost housing estate
9) Construction of more town halls at the riverine communities
10) Provision of electricity for riverine communities
11) Provision of police post at riverine communities
12) Provision of more roads linking communities together at the riverine area
1) Vigorously strive to attain the SUSTAINABLE Development Goals (SDG) 4,5,6 (for children, mother and preventive health).
2) Free health care services for children and the old.
3) improving the services at primary health centres
4) Employment of health workers such as doctors, nurses, community extension workers etc
5) Improving the public private partnership (PPP) system as started by the comrade Ayodele Adewale’s administration especially with the pharmaceutical and laboratory professional
6) Support for the physically challenged in Amuwo Odofin Local Government.
HUMAN CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
1) Provision of accessible and affordable loans through Public Private Participation (PPP).
2) Consistent support for talented Youths.
3) Initiate skill acquisition, enrolment at vocational centres and youth empowerment for the vocationally trained in the Local Government through PPP.
4) Create employment opportunities
5) Create healthy relationship and partnership with CDAs/CDC, Religious bodies, traditional institutions, resident associations, the Federal Housing Authority and other agencies of government.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT/WEALTH CREATION
1) Building youth capacity via vocational training, technology and I.T skills.
2) I.T empowerment.
3) Resuscitation of the agro-allied projects in the vocational centre and community
4) Networking Youth organisations with the Lagos State 25 billion naira empowerment scheme
5) Networking youth organisations with international partners, foreign missions and funders for training, capacity building, employment and opportunities
ENVIRONMENT AND SANITATION
1) Collaboration with LAWMA and PSP for effective service delivery.
2) Periodic tree planting exercise to confront climate challenge and improve on the esthetic of our community.
3) Training and motivation for Green Club and street managers.
4) Regular desilting of drainages, monitoring and maintenance.
5) PPP collaboration for waste management and recycling.
6) Regular provision and maintenance of sanitary equipments, vehicles and tools.
7) Improved horticulture and aesthetics around the Local Government.
EFFECTIVE SECURITY SYSTEM
1) We shall collaborate with security agencies for good security networks and operation
2) We shall provide security support such as I.T materials, vehicles and mobilise the people to provide information that will assist for effective security networking
3) We will sustain regular security meetings.
4) Training and retraining of para-military personnel attached to the Local Government to complement the role of the police in crime prevention, detection and control.
5) We will work with the Lagos State electricity bord to light up the Local Government.
6) We will improve on our local emergency responders towards disaster prevention and management techniques while providing training to improve their capacity
1) We shall demolish old blocks of classrooms, staffrooms to make way for the construction of new once
2) Construction of more desks and benches.
3) Provision of books, bags, uniforms and writing materials.
4) Incentives and more trainings for teachers in public primary schools
5) Engaging public and private schools in healthy sporting and academic competitions
6) Provision of free GCE, JAMB form and tutorials and lessons to indigent students.
7) Collaboration and partnership with academic institute for capacity building of our youths.
8) Motivation of corps members to teach in public primary schools.
9) ICT Youth Empowerment training and workshops.
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT
1) Accessible loans for farmers at 1.5% of interest.
2) Donations of farm and fishing equipment and tools to the coastline communities.
3) Support for farming and fishery projects and agricultural enhancements such as fertilizers etc.
4) Adequate support for rural community development through FADAMA.
6) Productive partnership with State and Federal Government and agro-allied bodies for accessibility of affordable produce to our people.
7) Motivation to rural farmers to participate in seminars, workshops and other beneficial forum like the world food day to help stimulate productivity.
8) Bring investors to set up in Amuwo Odofin Local Government.
1) Support for participants at state and federal competitions.
2) Development the FHA sport field at 23 road
3) West shall work with the private sector to organise indoor and outdoor games competition
4) We shall redevelopment of sporting fields and play grounds.
5) Capacity building for Amuwo Odofin sportsmen and women.
6) Garner support for promotion of culture, sports and entertainment.
7) We shall sustain the Amuwo Odofin Festac Music Fiesta
1) Organise workshop, trainings and capacity building programs.
2) Incentives to ensure greater service delivery.
3) Team work and collaboration with workers to improved staff welfare.
4) Joint and collaborative relationship with the legislative arm and management team.
5) Strategic coordination of the executive council towards efficient service delivery.
1) Partnership with security and para-military bodies to ensure free flow of traffic.
2) We shall work with the private sector to provide buses and boats for safe land and water transport.
3) We shall work with the Lagos State Government Ministry of justice mobile court for effective traffic management.
4) We shall create a partnership with national and state road unions for improved transport system.
1) Partnership with micro-finance institutions to provide loans at 1.5% of interest.
2) Organising regular short term skill acquisition programs to improve their capacity.
3) Organise health seminars for mother and children.
4) Provision of empowerment items and materials at periodic intervals.
5) Support for the widow and indigent
6) Regular free medical screening
Culled from The Boss Newspaper