Hon. Bisi Yusuff is the Chairman House Committee on Transportation, Commerce and Industry at the Lagos State House of Assembly. He is seeking re-election in Alimosho Constituency 01 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He spoke with ROTILEFON SUNDAY recently on his contributions in the state assembly in the last four years and why he is seeking re-election…
Why are you seeking re-election?
I have just spent four years of one tenure. The Nigerian Constitution allows for re-election as many times as possible. This is a democracy, there is no limitation to my tenure. When someone is good and doing very well for his constituency, doing good projects affecting the lives of the people, have their love in heart and attending to their needs, you will become the admirer by your people. I’m unlike President Goodluck Jonathan who organized a rally, saying that Nigerians are begging him to re-contest; I feel that I’m capable of representing my constituency again.
What has been your major contribution to your constituency?
I’m a very proactive legislator and one of the most viable and celebrated legislators in Nigeria today. I have attracted many infrastructural developments to my constituency such as road construction, channelization of canals. I have the largest constituency and most politically sophisticated constituency in Nigeria but I have been able to bring succor and affect their lives. I have empowered many youths who before were seeking white collar jobs, which are not presently available due to the bad economy, but we have made them to discover their talents and potentials. We have given them many ideas, which have made them self-employed and generating incomes for them. We have distributed JAMB forms, WAEC and GCE forms freely; thousands of textbooks were distributed freely, scholarship to brilliants and less- privileged students, encouragement of sports activities and many others, which are done to encourage youths.
The health sector was not left out; we have distributed freely thousands of eye glasses, free eye test, free blood and diabetes test, health seminars and free drugs to our health centers. During the Ebola era, Governor Raji Fashola gave me recommendation as the legislator that organized the most successful seminar to cub Ebola in the state.
What is your view about the postponement of the February election by INEC?
PDP is jittery. They are afraid, that is why they hurriedly called for the postponement. They cannot withstand the pressure; they would have been booted out of power. I believe that they only postponed the evil’s day. The electorate are waiting for them. It is very sad despite the abundance of human and natural resources, we are still suffering, the economy remains in redundancy. Two former CBN governors, Professor Charles Soludo and Lamido Sanusi, alleged that trillions of Naira are missing and squandered under Jonathan’s watch. Professor Jerry Gana, during the campaign fund raising for President Jonathan, raked in N5b for the president. What is the source of income of the donors? This is a country where people eat what they see and do menial jobs to survive. Suffering is written on the faces of an average Nigerian. The power at the central knows that the electorate are fed up with their misdeeds. There is nothing they can do than political manuover during election. INEC said they were ready, what is the role of the military in an election and in a true democracy? Let the federal government draft military to where there are insurgents. Jonathan said nobody informed him about the postponement of the election. Is it possible for such an election to be postponed without the consent of the federal government? People should ask questions about the sincerity of the federal government on the election. Who is deceiving who? Jonathan always comes on television stations to tell lies. He is hiding at the back of one finger. He cannot do that for long.
As a lawmaker, what has been your contribution on the floor of the House?
A few days ago at a political rally in Alimosho, Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos State publicly acknowledged me; he described me as a very proactive legislator, full of intelligence and highly respected in the House of Assembly. I have moved many motions and supported laws to the benefit of Lagosians.
Some people believe APC has not done well enough in the state compared to the huge revenue the state is generating. What is your reaction?
Without being biased, but being realistic, you cannot mention any meaningful project that the Federal Government has done in Lagos State in the last six years. President Jonathan can only mention the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which still in a terrible condition compared to roads constructed by the Lagos State government. The Federal Government claimed that they have constructed 25,000 kilometers of road, which is five times the distance from London to Lagos. How many kilometers is Ibadan to Lagos? It was former President Olusegun Obasanjo that constructed Ilorin-Ibadan road. What about the eastern part of the country, are they living comfortably? Lagos State is the master; the Federal Government should borrow a leaf from us and we shall be glad to offer them free consultancy on how to develop the nation.
Lagos State is alleged to have the highest debt profile in Nigeria. How do you react?
That is not true. If you want to kill a dog, you will call him different names for you to kill it. What is the ratio of indebtness of Lagos compared to that of the Federal Government? If you are a good debtor and people are seeing what you are doing with your debt, people will appreciate you, unlike those who borrow and could not account for it. Obasanjo left huge amount in the nation’s reserve; and what of the money recovered from Abacha loot? They squandered all without any tangible investment. Jonathan has failed Nigerians; he is full of empty promises. Where is electricity? Where are the investments? Where is the national carrier? Everybody can feel the good development in Lagos State.
What is your reaction to the restriction of Okada and other strict transportation laws in the state?
Interesting; the laws passed through me. If the economy is viable, there wouldn’t be need for a university graduate to choose okada riding as a profession. It is not a best option for them. It is because the federal government is not doing enough to develop the economy. But the APC agenda will bring about rapid development to the economy. We shall create a conducive and enabling environment for the citizenry. APC will diversify the economy and make it more attractive for investors and investments to flourish. When there is job availability, people will no longer rush to Okada riding as profession. APC will channel Nigeria resources to the creation of jobs by creating the enabling environment for people. Those who are campaigning that Okada restriction is not good do not have any of their family members riding it. There is reduction in the rate of accidents and deaths on our roads. What about armed robbery? When people want to be parochial, they paint the situation as very bad.
How successful is the collection of PVCs in your area?
The rate of collection is very encouraging. We mobilized them and they all trooped out, a majority of our people who registered have collected their PVCs.
What is your agenda for your people?
I want to give them, once again, quality representation.
One of the factors militating against the Presidential Candidate of your party, General Mohammudu Buhari, is age, what is your view?
That is not true. Many youths cannot think and work smart like him, he is very intelligent and highly experienced. Those who rescued their countries at the verge of collapsing were like him. When Britain, America, Ghana were at the verge of collapsing, check the history of those who rescued them.
How old was late Nelson Mandela when he became President of South Africa? Today, nobody can be compared with him in Africa in terms of achievement. Compare the state of mind of President Jonathan and Buhari and draw your conclusion. Buhari is full of wisdom, but Jonathan cannot take decision on his own
The more you are aging the more you are growing in wisdom.
What is your advice to the people of Lagos State on the election?
They should vote wisely for APC candidates at all levels. APC governorship candidate in Lagos, Ambode Akinwumi, was one of the transformation team members of former Governor Bola Tinubu. He was able to jack up the revenue generation of Lagos State from N600m to N20b monthly.