He is young. He is brilliant. He is tenacious. Despite his young age, he is incredibly grounded as a grass root politician. Mention the name Moyosore anywhere in Kosofe Local Government and many will stop to look around to see if their beloved son, their chairman in whom they are all pleased, is anywhere close by. They love to hang around him. Moyosore Ogunlewe has that compelling charm that makes people gravitate towards him. And it has nothing to do with his good looks or privileged background. It is firstly as a result of his consistent and unshaken desire to serve his people. When many of his contemporaries from same privileged background have since left the shores of the country for an easier and much more comfortable life abroad, Moyo, over the years, has shown clearly that his heart lies here with his people. Long before 2015 when he took his first major shot at the chairmanship position under PDP then, he has always been with the people of Kosofe, sitting down with them to seek solutions to both their personal challenges and general issues affecting the people resident in the local government. One can therefore imagine their joy and excitement when, a couple of months ago, Moyo emerged chairman of Kosofe Local Government under the APC at the last Lagos state local government elections.
For Moyosore, it’s been years of futile attempts to get the opportunity to showcase his capabilities as a young administrator and demonstrate his undying love for the people of Kosofe. He waited many years to get one opportunity he was waiting for. The people stood by him and swore to help him realize his aspirations. They did not disappoint him. They got him the office of the chairman of Kosofe LG. And the young man has not disappointed them too. He is a grateful young man who has continued to surprise both his admirers and critics who insisted he was not the right man for the job. He has proven everyone of them wrong. In just a little over his first 100 days in office, Moyo has hit the ground running. He has done things considered unprecedented in the local government before now. He has shown clearly that it is not going to be business as usual in Kosofe, there is work to be done and dividends of democracy to deliver to the people and that’s exactly what he has set about doing. And from what City People found out, he has done remarkably well so far.
City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290) was a guest of the passion-driven chairman two weeks ago and he shared with us how he has been able to settle down and put in a pretty decent performance within his first 100 days in office. He also shared with us what has kept him going all these years even when the chances of him possibly winning the chairmanship position looked extremely bleak.
So quickly it’s been a little over a hundred days in office for you. How do you feel finally getting here and the way things have panned o0ut for you?
Well, for me, let me first and foremost give glory to God for keeping our lives to this time. For me, I’m just here to serve the people, that’s why I was elected. Let’s not also forget that the local government is the closest to the grass root, which means that our impact must be felt and that’s what I’m doing. And I’ll keep doing what I’m doing to ensure that the people get the dividends of democracy that they’ve been clamouring for.
One of the things people said after you emerged victorious at the polls was that Moyo always knew what he wanted and he kept his eyes on his goal till he got his hands on what he wanted. What kept you going you all this time and how come you didn’t give up on your aspirations like several others would’ve given up?
It’s simple. I have always wanted to serve the people and when you want to serve the people you don’t think of how many times you’re running for office, which is exactly what has happened in my case. As you can see, in the last 100 days we’ve achieved so much. For me, I’ll keep doing more. I’m here to serve and I’ll continue to serve my people and that’s just what it is.
Would you say your passion to serve the people has got something to do with sharing dad’s DNA?
No, no (laughs) Okay, yeah, my dad is a workaholic and everybody knows that, if that is what it is, then it’s all good. I’m just carving a niche for myself, making my own name, he has made his. No doubt about it, he’s my father, I respect him so much and I will always respect him. But I’m learning, there’s still a whole lot to learn from him and others.
So, it’s been a hundred days already, how hectic and challenging has it been for you settling down and taking off as quickly as you wanted?
Its been very hectic, very serious. A lot of work has been done, a lot of things have been put in place and we are trying to keep the momentum going. As I speak to you we’re constructing ten roads across the wards in my constituency. As I speak to you, we are done with about five of them. Three are about sixty percent completed while the remaining two are about fifty percent done. Our plan is to complete everything before Christmas. That’s what we’re working on. We’ve set a target for ourselves and by God’s grace we’ll achieve it. We purchased a brand new ambulance for the people in the constituency. We found out that during Covid, there was a major setback for the local government where we couldn’t place our hands on an ambulance, so that was why we got ourselves one. We have a brand new one now. We also purchased an Hiace bus for the market women in the local government. We purchased a bus for our Legislators as well so that they can do their oversight functions with ease. We also purchased four Sienna buses for revenue because that’s one of our goals in this government. We also purchased as well a Sienna bus for the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to move them around. We are building a Customary court, that’s about eighty percent completed. If you go to Ohamu street in Oworo, in conjunction with Access Bank, we’re doing a health centre there. For the educational sector, we purchased about 150 free GCE forms for students within the constituency and also gave them free tutorials to enable them pass their exams. We purchased a dispatch bike to move our letters from point A to point B. We did renovations within the council. As you can see, my office just got renovated.
All of these in just about a hundred days?
Yeah, hundred days. It’s all about setting your goals and achieving them. Many thought we couldn’t do this much but we did. Some thought we would fail. We proved them wrong in just a hundred days.
How were you able to hit the ground running and achieve so much in just about a hundred days? You have moved at quite an amazing speed, not sure if I’ve spoken with any local government chairman that’s reeled out so much in just 100 days.
Well, that’s how I want to go about doing my thing. I have set the targets for myself. I’m sure other local government chairmen have their own targets set and they’re going about them the best way they know how. But for me, that’s what I’ve been able to achieve and I thank God for everything we’ve done so far.
What were the immediate challenges you met on the ground when you first came in, challenges that you identified as the major needs of your people?
The major needs are what I’ve just told you. I don’t like to speak about the last administration, he has nothing to do with me, I’m here now to make changes and I’m making them and that’s what it is.
How has the response been by the people? I ask this because I know that even when you were with the PDP, there was always this strong clamour for you to occupy this office and finally you are here. The people must be excited that they finally got their Moyo in office…
If people are clamouring for you, it’s the voice of God speaking, and you don’t disappoint God. And that’s what I’m doing now. So, I just need to make my own changes and contributions and leave. I won’t be here forever, I will leave one day, so I’ve got to make my mark while am here and that’s what I’m doing.
The first 100 days have flown past and you have raised the bar clearly. What long term projects should people be expecting from you in the not too distant future?
Personally, I always have a plan, and the first part is what I have executed. I am already planning for the next hundred days in office so watch the space. By God’s grace, when you come back here in the next hundred day in office we’ll have a lot more to talk about.
Let me take you back to that moment when you were announced the winner of the last LG election, what were the thoughts going on in your mind looking back at all that you had to go through to get here?
Well, you just feel that at the right time God will just reward you and that’s what am getting now. I’ve been in the political space for a while. From 2015, 2019 to now, that’s two major elections. So, I’m known in the ballot. For me, I must make an impact so that people can believe that the younger ones can make a difference. I just feel that once you have an opportunity to showcase yourself, do it and do it right, and that’s basically what I’m doing now.
You have become like a beacon of hope to the young people out there, which is why I have been on your neck for this interview. What sort of vibes are you getting from the youths now that one of their own is here?
They are excited as you can see. I’m a free person, anybody can walk into my office at any time and that’s what they need. The majority of the youths are doing different things that they should not be doing, it’s because, and I repeat, it’s because they have not been attended to. Most of these guys just need somebody to talk to them. I’m going to be having a meet and greet with the youths of my constituency by God’s grace the first week in December. We need to speak to them and help them. The majority of these young people need just a little help. We shouldn’t neglect them. We are a government, we are here to make sure we assist them, keep in touch with them, love them. Most of these people just need love. The love can just be, oh, you came to my house to visit me. That’s what they need and that can keep them going. The youths are the hope of this country and we cannot leave them to just waste away without touching their lives.
You may have proven this assertion wrong going by the speed with which you have hit the ground running, but why do you think public office holders generally find it hard to get off the mark and make things happen as quickly as they would love to?
First of all, you must plan and be focused. We have planned and we remain focused on what we want to achieve. For me, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t see anything difficult in governance at all. May be because I’m from a political background, I’ve seen what it is to be part of a system. Don’t forget my dad was a former senator and a former minister for works, so I’ve learnt as a public office holder, you just need to get involved with your people and that’s what I’m doing. It’s not a big deal at all, I will just keep doing what I need to do. I’m not in competition with anybody, I’ll just keep doing things the best way I know how.
How have you learnt to deal with different kinds of people who come to you with all sorts of demands, from the outrageous to the totally crazy ones, how have you coped?
It’s grassroots politics, you attend to them the best way you can. You give as much as you can and don’t make promises you can’t keep. Give the little you can afford. And for as long as there is infrastructural development and they can see their money is being used judiciously, they too know that they cannot bring bills that are outrageous for me to settle because they already see what I’m doing. I think that’s one of the problems we grass root politicians are having, but once just try and develop your immediate environment and nobody will disturb you. If they call me, I do the needful. I do the best I can and that’s it. Sometimes I make out time to talk to them and I advise them. I will also be setting up an advisory committee for that purpose. Some of them actually lie just to get money from you, but you don’t blame them, it’s the situation of the country and everybody needs money. We just need to get them involved, get them to see that their taxpayers’ money is working for them.
Your energy, your passion to serve the people, how did that evolve for you because I’ve known this about you long before you even got here?
Let’s just say I got that from God. It’s a gift from God, believe me. That’s all I can say.
Before l let you go, what should members of your constituency expect from you as you continue to count down the days?
There’s nothing to expect from me than to expect more. And I’ll like to plead with them that they should use the roads we are currently constructing properly because they’re quite expensive. They are yours, so protect your own and guard them jealously.
Finally, your thoughts on the clamour on Asiwaju to run, even though he hasn’t declared…
(Cuts in) If he doesn’t declare, we will declare for him, he doesn’t have a choice. He has tested the waters, the man has done so much. He has paid his dues. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a master strategist and I think that’s what the nation needs now, somebody that will put the right people in the right position. No doubt about it, a lot of people have gone through his school of politics, the likes of Fashola and even the current vice president, those are brilliant young men. For me, if Asiwaju is president of this country, he will be able to identify people that are competent and level headed who can drive this country into the position where we all want it to be. That’s why I think he deserves to be president of this country and I support him hundred percent, by God’s grace I pray that God grants him his heart’s desire.