•MOYOSORE OGUNLEWE Tells City People
If there is one local government chairman many people are talking about right now, it’s Moyosore Ogunlewe, the Executive Chairman of Kosofe Local Government. Give it to him, he has been outstanding in the last one year. Moyo has surpassed the expectations of many, taking on numerous major road construction projects in the local government and finishing them in record time. He also purchased vehicles for the revenue team and has renovated several parts of the council. He has been regularly attending to the needs of the aged and generally providing support for the weak and vulnerable. Yet, he says he is far from being satisfied with all he has achieved in just one year.
Two weeks ago, Moyosore invited City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (08037209290) over to his Ogudu private residence where he shared with us his experience so far since he assumed office as the Executive Chairman of Kosofe Local Government. He also explains why he is not satisfied with the progress made so far. Enjoy excerpts.
It’s been a little over a year since you assumed office as the Executive Chairman of Kosofe local government, how has the experience been? What are the realities you met on ground?
Well, governance is not easy as people think. It’s always difficult to please everybody, but the most important thing is to touch lives and do your best as you can so you can have a reference point if you have another chance to run for office again. And that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m enjoying myself constructing roads, providing welfare for the older people, health care system, and a whole lot more. And all of these give me joy because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve been given the opportunity to do it, so I don’t have any choice but to do it the best way I possibly can.
What area of governance would you say you have found possibly the most challenging?
Sorting life’s issues. You wake up in the morning, your phone is ringing, and you hear different things like I want to pay my hospital bills, your father is sick, mother is sick, you just gave birth to a baby boy and I named him Moyosore and I just wonder why would you that? So we hear different things, but it’s what we signed up for, so I will keep doing my best.
How would you say the people have been receptive to your performance so far? What sort of vibes are you getting from the people?
Well, it’s the local government and we are the closest to the grassroots. Everybody is watching you, everybody is watching what you’re doing. For me, just do as much as you can and don’t forget, the local government job is a thankless job and that’s what it’s called.
Yes, it’s a thankless job, you cannot satisfy all the people. But do as much as you can, make sure you have reference so that if you’re running for office again, you can pin point some of the things you did so that you can say that I did so and so at my time. And that’s what I’m doing and by God’s grace, between now and my fourth year, I must’ve done a lot.
I must say that people have been impressed with the way you hit the ground running. I have family here in the local government who say positive things about you. How have you been able to sustain the momentum? How do you hope to keep it going this way?
Patience, patience, patience, everybody needs to be patient. Things have really gone bad, I’m just doing my best to do as much as I can. Don’t also forget that I cannot touch everybody’s lives but I can do the little I can and also to see that my people are happy about what I’m doing and just be part of them.
I’m curious to know, one of the biggest concerns people had was how you were going to be dealing with much older people, not just people within the council, the civil servants, but also people within the party who have a mindset of how to do things. You are a younger person coming in with fresh ideas and has a clear idea how he wants to do things. How have you been able to handle this?
You will find out that most of these older people are not difficult, what they want is a superior argument to theirs. Once you have a superior argument to theirs, they will toe the line of what you want to do. So, for me, yes, the party, yes, I’ve been able to manage the people around, yes, no doubt about it, there is crisis but we have managed the crisis, and we’ll keep managing crisis till we get to where we get to.
Looking at what you’ve done in the last one year and two months, would you say you’re satisfied with the level of work done so far?
No, no, I’m not satisfied. I’m not satisfied at all. I feel I should be able to do more. I feel that if I was given an opportunity to do something, I should be able to do it properly. I will score myself for the first one year five over ten. Irrespective of the massive projects I’ve done, I’m still not satisfied. I feel that I should be able to do more. It’s just like pushing myself because I know that after this chairman, God has another thing for me. So, for me, I will just keep doing my best irrespective of whatever anybody says. The important thing is for me to be able to beat my chest and say when I was chairman I did this, road, I did that, etc. So, it’s a lot of work but we have to just keep doing what we need to do.
The immediate past chairman, during an interview I had with him mentioned insufficient resources as one of the biggest challenges he had to deal with while running a local government as massive as Kosofe, how have you been able to play around that problem so far?
Yes, the funds are minimal, but we are managing ourselves, we are doing what the people want us to do but most importantly, we are satisfying the constituents. Like I said earlier, we will keep working hard, you can’t stop. The local government job is a thankless job. You must work hard every day to bring the dividends of democracy to the people and by God’s grace God will see us through.
Take us through some of the projects you’ve done that have given you real joy lately, projects that you started and completed and you’re so pleased with what you’ve done.
We have completed 13 roads within the constituency, we are embarking on another 7 by God’s grace this month. The names of those roads will be announced very soon. We are going to do that before the general elections. We’ve also done long stretch drainages, Adebayo Mokuolu and some other few roads within the constituency. Those are the major projects that we’ve done. We are renovating our offices in the council. We have bought vehicles for the revenue staff. We are providing diesel 24 hours for our health centers. It’s a lot of work. But we’ll keep working, we’ll keep pushing till we get to our destination.
How good are you for your second term ticket?
Well, we pray to God and let God take the decision, you don’t jump the gun. If God has a better plan for you, why not? But for now, we hope we will get it by God’s grace.
I will like you to react to this. Some have said that Moyosore is merely passing through the local government, he has a higher destination he’s eyeing, what really are your plans beyond the local government?
I can remember very well my two elections, I contested for House of Assembly twice and I lost twice and I ended up in chairmanship seat. I also hope that one day I will be governor of the state, but you never can say, man proposes God proposes.
But you have your mind set on these lofty dreams?
Yes, of course. I mean, I want to be a senator, I want to be the governor, I want to be the president of this country, you never can tell. I want to be an ambassador. I want to be a minister as well, you just have to wait for God’s plan. You can have your own plan, but it’s important to wait for God’s plan. Tell God your own plan and if that’’ what God wants for you, then, fine. But I’m glad am part of this. I’m glad I’m part of the development of this local government and I know that I have written my name in gold.
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