Indigenes and residents of Agege local government were on Saturday, December 1, 2018 librated from the shackles of poverty by the Alliance for Democracy governorship candidate, High Chief Owolabi Salis, the founder of Salis foundation, which graduated over 1,000 women and youths in a set of vocational trainings.
The scheme titled Lagos youth’s skill acquisitions and empowerment programme, has over 40 centres across all local government in the state and has produced more than 53, 000 graduands in Lagos.
Chief Salis while speaking on why he decided to take the scheme to Agege in particular and his plans for the people, should he be voted the next governor of Lagos said: “My concern about the people of Agege is their welfare, particularly the less privileged people. We are going to practice a grassroots governance system.
“We are going to bring the resources of the people back to the grassroots for them to be in control, not for any individual to be in control anymore. So this type of governance is going to be from the bottom to top and not otherwise. Because when you operate a top to bottom system, the resources doesn’t get down.
“The people in the grassroots are really suffering, not only in Agege, they are suffering in every part of the state and I’m very concerned about this. So what we want to do is to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in basic needs of life and we are going to do it.
“One of the basic needs of life is education. For the rich, they can afford to take their children to schools and pay their fees but for the poor, they need the support of the government to provide free or at least affordable education for their children. But what they gave them in public schools all over Lagos state is schools without toilets, schools without desks and tables, schools without textbooks, just poor arrangements. I went around schools in Agege and it’s so pathetic.
“We need to address this right now because the people are suffering in terms of provision of affordable and convenient housing. All the
“I’ve been talking to some of the youths here and we’ve been doing some empowerments for them to take them (Agege youths) out of the streets, When we start the grassroots governance system, it has a lot in it to offer them, many of these youths will be out of the streets and be engaged because there will be a lot of jobs at the grassroots. So the ward executive council, a grassroots governance system recognised by the government is the solution. It’s a standing system that I’m going to practice and we are going to get funds from certain individuals in this state because they have so much money and put it in the
“The situation is so bad for the less privileged, nobody cares about them, I am going to do it because this is the right time for them.”
In another related conversation, at the same event, Mr Olawale Shobulo who is vying for the seat of Lagos state house of assembly, Agege 01 constituency under the Aliance for Democracy, AD platform, also spoke about how he intends to bring back the lost glory of Agege and his activities in making sure that the youths and women in the local government have a better standard of living; he said:
“I have been empowering people in Agege since 2015 and as at today, I have empowered over 1, 000 people in different vocational
“Aside from His Excellency, High Chief Owolabi Salis that came to our rescue by supporting us in this very edition of the scheme, I have been doing it alone and God has been helping us.
Speaking about his chances to defeat the incumbent representative in the forthcoming election, Mr Shobulo said “judging by work done so far, the incumbent has no excuse for non-performance because it receives constituency allowance and has no works to show for it. I do not get any allowances and I’ve been able to put such a magnitude of the project together, I know the people can see for themselves and make a wise decision at the end of the day. I am confident that my good works will speak for me.
Speaking about fighting against vote buying, he said “we have been trying to enlighten the youths, women and everybody against selling their votes, right and conscience. We have a structure in place that would take care of the needs of everyone and are ready for an all-inclusive system of governance. Everyone will be carried along but there’s no way we can achieve this greatness with the people if they sell their votes.
Hajia Rabi Haruna an elderly woman who participated in the scheme gave kudos to the organisers of the programme and expressed gratitude to them for giving her the opportunity for intensive training without paying a dime.
In her words, “I attended this training for eight weeks and I’m so grateful to Chief Salis and other people who have brought a meaning and definition to my life. I was a
“In this period of training, I have leant how to make soaps, insecticides, perfumes, Vaseline, air freshener, dettol and some other home essentials. I am happy now because I can support my family from the new business I’m going to start.
Talking about her age, she said “I didn’t feel ashamed to learn because I knew that I needed it. My age was not a barrier and the trainers were nice people. They made me feel at home and now I’m going to be better than when I came.”
The vocational training which cuts across different trades such as home essentials, shoemaking, fashion design, hairdressing, beauticology and catering services had grandaunts displayed various products from the knowledge they had acquired over the eight-week intensive training.