The Majority Leader of the 8th Kwara State House of Assembly, Honourable Hassan Oyeleke, represents Eesa/Shawo/Igboidun Constituency in Offa Local Government Area of the state. Hon. Oyeleke is well read and has seen it all so to say. A graduate of Educational Management from the University Ilorin, Kwara State, he also obtained his Masters in Public Administration at the Ladoke Akintola University. For a number of years, he was a lecturer at the College of Education, Warri, Delta State. He was recently awarded honorary doctorate degree as a Technocrat-politician by Dubia University, an affiliate of London Graduate School. Oyeleke began politics right from the grassroots, starting out as a Councillor at age 25, reinforcing the idea that youths can hold any position of leadership and excel. His performance at the council remains one of his greatest achievements as a politician till date. No wonder he has never hidden his belief and confidence in the ability of youths to deliver when called upon. In this SPECIAL INTERVIEW with KWARA STATE CORRESPONDENT of WESTERN POST, MOSUNMOLA AYOBAMI, the Kwaran House Leader speaks on laws made so far by the 8th Kwara House, the oversight functions of the House, his future political ambition and other intriguing issues…
What are some of the success stories of the Rules and Business Committee you chair?
All discussions, quality of the bills you see on the floor, the high quality of motion for discussion are the success stories.
When Governor Ahmed presented the 2017 budget, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly said the House don’t rubber stamp, how true is this?
We don’t rubber stamp when you look at how we carry out our functions. Take the budget for example, the Governor brought N133B, by our consideration we believed the money was small, we were able to sort how they can get money, then we approved extra N5.5B for Agric. A rubber stamp house will not do that. Two, the way we thoroughly do oversight function, screening of commissioners, the way we summon principal officers of Ministries before our committee like Commissioner for Agriculture, Finance, Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, unscheduled project site visitation to assess the projects the Executive does, a rubber stamp House will just look at the other side. And there are many of the bills rejected like Hotel Management Bill and other bills that will not even come to the floor at all. There were some letters from His Excellency that we felt were not proper, we turned them down. We don’t compromise our constitutional functions, we have been able to establish a rancour- free relationship with the Executive while we carry out our duty strictly, despite the fact that we are hundred percent of the same party.
Can you summarize the bills passed so far since the inauguration of the 8th Kwara House of Assembly?
Majorly, it’s centres on revenue generation, revenue appeal court, which we made so democratic. There is a bill on cultism, we have expanded the punishment to landlord of any cult member and increase the jail term from 10-15 years. We have also domesticated pension law so that our pensioners can access their money easily, we have Health Insurance Agency and Kwara Health insurance Scheme, and this is to address how accessible healthcare services can be with N500 yearly in partnership with international donors. Another one is free Universal Basic Education and free feeding of pupils. Town planning law, which adjust people back to the track, Manufacturing and Tourism Laws to increase our revenue base, Traffic Management law in like manner of other urban states, Vocational and Entrepreneurship development law, in support of our multi-Billion naira well equipped Vocational centre at Ajase-Ipo, and procurement Bill which was domesticated to curb corruption.
So, how many bills has the 8th Assembly passed into Law?
We have three in the third reading and 20 bills have been passed into law.
Away from law-making business, how have you been able to give back to your constituency?
What I do is social responsibility scheme, here I have about thirty primary schools where indigent pupils are, whom I paid their school fees, about hundreds of them, then another one hundred and fifty students in secondary schools. In the higher institution I have twenty seven, in offa even beyond my constituency with help of school principals, this does not relate with politics, but I want to give my party the privilege in September where they (party) will be given fifty slots, and its does not stop even when I leave office, once the financial muscle remains I will continue especially with those in primary school,because I was once in the situation, I could remember when I wanted to do my primary school examination I was the only person who could not pay N3 and I was sent out I have to beg the teacher to allow me to write the exam which he did promising to pay the fee, and God has helped me to this level so I know there are many ‘Hassans’ who could not pay, out there whom my little assistance could make great, and bring so many Hassan up from primary and secondary schools.
How long have you been in the House of Assembly?
I’m a second timer, I served in 2011-2014, 2015-2019. When I came the first time two us were ACN,I was a minority member because Offa was ACN other 22 members were PDP.
All 24 members in 8th Assembly are APC card-carrying members, what is the secret?
Here, there are two systems, we have a formidable political system, one is late Baba Saraki, before the one under Senate president. Then we from Offa are not part of the group, but with the emergence, some members of APGA merged which Okorocha represented, the CPC for Buhari and PDP for about five governors including our governor here with other six ACN governors merged to form APC. That was the only secret, the only Local government, which was not PDP was Offa and since we merged there was no opposition again and I can tell you we now have a better party, because I belong to the majority party now. Things are easier for me, even the law-making process is much easier with all Honorable members coming from APC platform because democracy is about number. If not for recession, the position I have now avail me the opportunity to bring a lot of development to my area.
Do you see yourself coming back to the House in 2019?
Really, three things determine what happen in life. God who can make my destiny come into fruition in my life. As a Muslim I can only talk about this present time, and human beings, political associations, here the political leaders will sit to determine who takes what post, which is not under my control and the leader of all the leaders is the Senate president who is a fair-minded person and my constituency who can plead with Oga to give me, and me doing the best I can so I can have good records, which determines what happen to me in the next two years as Yoruba will say, “Enikan ki fi ara re joye” I can’t put myself in any position
What other political ambition do you nurse?
Have been a council chairman in the past, which was determined by my constituency. I was the first chairman of Offa Local government, and had been there more than once. All these were determined by God and my people. I don’t really hold ambition, what I hold is am into politics and want a position where I can help my people. If I have opportunity to go higher so can help my people and if I still have to be here helping them, so be it,
How will you describe Senate President’s victory at the Code of Conduct Bureau recently?
We believe that CCT issue is political. There are issues behind the scene, which the public does not know.
Tell us some of the issues
You know it as a journalist that his emergence as Senate president was not popular among a clique of the political class and there were pronouncements that they were not going to recognise him and they were going to fight him. “Aje ke lana Omo ku loni; tani o mo pe Aje to ke lana lo pa omo”. Then two, the CCT form, 99 percent of politicians including me would have omitted one thing or the other, we are talking about people who stole billions of dollars, how much are they talking about Bukola? How much is it? Is it up to one billion? We are talking of people who dug soak always and kept billions, we saw what they did with the money to fight Boko Haram. We saw the impunity of Jonathan, his wife and his men and we are here saying he did not fill the form appropriately. They said he collected 50 thousand every month, how much is 50,000 times 30? When Obasanjo left, he left billions of dollars. When Buhari came, he didn’t meet anything, where did the money go, what do they do for Allison (Diezani Allison-Madueke)? Is people like Allison and others that are supposed to face music? All Ministers during Jonathan era, why are they not facing music? Anti-corruption is one of the pillars that uphold APC, even the Senate President supported it, but what we are talking about is- this one is political is like vengeance. Had it been he didn’t go for Senate presidency, nobody will talk about CCT form. As far as I’m concerned and that was the mistake APC did. Had it been there was no in-fighting, many of the election we lost would not have been lost. Just imagine the population-Senate President, Tinubu and many others coming together, APC would not have lost any election after the victory of Buhari. We even lost election in APC states, its unity that gives strength but where there is in-fighting, nothing good happens. It’s like a team work, the goalkeeper, midfielder, supporting striker must work together. It only happens here in a civilian setting, defeating an incumbent president. A civilian defeated a sitting civilian, it once happened in Ghana, so the victory is well-deserved, we thank the judiciary and its exhibition of true course of justice so the innocence of Senate president was brought to fall by that pronouncement. We are happy about it because we don’t want somebody that is innocent to be roped in and become guilty because of some certain political consideration, so it’s well deserved. We thank God, the judiciary and those who truly believe in the course of justice and we thank the Senate president for being strong enough to withstand that kind of trial.