Hon. Dipo Okeyomi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is vying for the chairmanship of Ijaiye-Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State in the forthcoming local government election. In this Interview with SUNDAY ROTILEFON, Okeyomi speaks on his chances and his plans for the people of Ijaiye-Ojokoro if elected chairman
How prepared are you for the forthcoming local government election?
Everybody knows that I’m well prepared for the election by the Grace of God because I believe that with Him everything is possible.
What have been your contributions to the LCDA since you started your campaign?
A lot of things have been done. We have been supporting the widows, providing scholarship to orphans, attending to women’s needs, engaging in sports development in the area and giving educational support too.
We have some widows that are on our salary scheme every month; we also have some party members who are being paid salary monthly and it has been consistent. We have also given out support materials to churches, mosques, groups and individuals.
There is a rumour going round that you are broke and that you cannot finance your campaign again. Is that true?
How can somebody that is building A Level flats be broke? I’m building a gigantic hotel in my home town where people are working day and night, building a factory somewhere and building a 51-room’s hotel apartment simultaneously. So I don’t know where they got their information from. God is with me and He has given me the wealth and I will continue to spread it.
You are known for generosity, what informed this gesture of yours?
I’m not a Father Christmas. But I made a vow between me, my wife and God when we were suffering, we asked God to give us a clean and legal wealth and not Dasuki money. And we said if God answered our prayers we were going to be generous to mankind.
Many people say they are confused about the source of your wealth. What is your reaction?
I am a Security Consultant. I’m also a notable contractor and also a farmer. Let them report me to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). When I did not steal or dupe anybody I’m not afraid of any query or interrogation from any anti- corruption agency.
Can you enlighten people more about your ‘Carry Go Estate’?
It is a big estate that is coming very soon; we are already working on it. Some people have started building their houses inside the estate. By the Grace of God we are expanding the existing site to 25 acres of land.
How can one become a landlord in the estate?
There are many people in the LCDA but those who will benefit are going to be many and are going to be first of its kind in any local government in the country. I cannot give building to everybody in Ojokoro.
Are you allocating land or building?
It is only land we are allocating to our people in Ijaiye-Ojokoro.
Are you allocating the land now or when you become the chairman?
We have started the allocation of the land now, I can assure you that we are extending it.
People still believe that due to the antecedent of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC), which often imposes candidates instead of conducting primaries to pick candidates, there is a rumour that a particular candidate among the aspirants has been anointed by the party hierarchy. What is your reaction?
That is a fallacy. They are just saying what they don’t know. Some of the aspirants cooked up stories that Governor Rauf Aregbesola has anointed them, some said that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the leader of APC, has anointed them, whereas there is nothing like anointed candidates. These people they are mentioning are our respected leaders and they are real democrats. They cannot anoint anybody for any position. They allow everybody to go through the primary election. You can see how President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as APC presidential candidate and you remember how Governor Akinwunmi Ambode emerged as the governorship candidate in Lagos. All of them emerged through acceptable primaries. Let me emphasize again that nobody is an anointed candidate and nobody is anointing any candidate. I’m anointed by Almighty God and the people of Ijiaye-Ojokoro LCDA.
If you win the LCDA election as the chairman, what will be your priority?
That will be massive employment. There is no doubt that I will employ not less than 700 people of Ijaiye-Ojokoro in my 100 days in office. I assure you that I will pay their salaries without any delay. I will surprise many people the way it’s going to happen. If I did not fulfill it, let the people of the LCDA come and ask me questions but the arrangement has been concluded. A lot of things will be done in the LCDA and I’m going to support the government of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. I’m going to bring international investors from America, Europe, China and South Africa to invest in the LCDA.
What about your Solar Energy project for the LCDA?
We have reached agreement with the service provider and they are coming to provide solar energy in all the streets of Ojokoro. I’m going to install Close Circuit Cameras in hidden places in the area which criminals use as their base.
What support are you getting from the party executives towards the primary election?
I can authoritatively tell you that I’m getting not less than 75 percent of the total votes at the primary. They know that I’m prepared and capable of holding the chairmanship seat. They acknowledged what I’m doing in Ijaiye-Ojokoro; they understand me very well, and they understand my language because they know that if I get there they will not suffer any more. I’m going to raise up the party because when I get there I will allow party supremacy. I’m not only acceptable to APC but everybody in Ijaiye-Ojokoro wants me as their next chairman. They are ready to support me. Those people that are important in the LCDA are the larger chunk of my followers.
People believe that the crowd following you are hired. Is it true?
I give thanks to God for being a powerful God, the God that removed a bus conductor from the back of a vehicle to an enviable position. Anytime I see people around me I’m always happy. I have never paid anybody to attend my rally; they are coming because of the love and belief they have in me that I can remove suffering from their lives. It is these people that propel me to work hard. Apart from being a politician or security consultant, I’m spiritually-inclined. I’m a preacher in my church. I trust the Almighty God, which always direct me on what to do. He spoke with me in one of my campaign rallies that an orphan was there and I should call him out for assistance. That was exactly what I did. I announced it and an unknown boy came out and he was confirmed to be an Senior Secondary School drop-out due to lack of finance. I awarded him scholarship until he completes his secondary school education.
Don’t you think that federal Government should extend the anti- corruption crusade to the local government?
President Buhari just started the anti- corruption crusade; he has not gotten to the banking sector and other agencies. He started with Dasuki’s alleged $2.1 billion arms deal. I know that very soon he will get to the local government.
There is also this belief that local government chairmen only seek elections in order to get into office and mismanage allocations meant for the development of their councils. What is your view?
I don’t know the local government where such a thing has happened, but I believe that there are some corrupt public officers out there. Me i will not be one of them.
As a security expert, how do you think the Boko Haram menace could be best tackled?
I have advised the Federal Government to stop the escalation of Boko Haram crisis in the country by monitoring the vehicles these people are using to carry farm products to the South. Security agents should monitor this. The tankers should be monitored too by the security agents, because they can hide ammunition inside tankers, they can hide ammunition under the farm products. The Federal Government should rise up and work against these strangers because, if truly they are Nigerians, they will never engage in killing innocent fellow citizens. It is never in our culture to be killing one another. No Nigerian likes to commit suicide even in the face of adversary or suffering.