Alhaji Abdulganiyu Kola Egunjobi is the Secretary, All Progressive Congress, APC, in Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State. The politician in this interview with Olufemi Ajasa talked about his ambition to become a local government chairman among other sundry issues. ..Excerpts
As a grassroots politician and graduate of School of Hard Knocks(laughter) and that of Lagos State University, LASU, where i read Sociology. I equally have diploma certificate in Purchasing & Supply Management from University of Lagos. I attended Iloro Grammar School and State Primary School, now Ife-Oluwa, both in Agege. You may wonder, which school is School of Hard Knocks, well it is just an idiomatic expression suggesting that i have gained a lot of experience and valuable knowledge in life.
I grew up at Isale-Oja, an environment that is filled with tension and violence in Agege area and where people across West African countries, Ghanaians, Nigeriens, Togolese etc live. Yet in the midst of violence and diversity, there is still love and harmony. I speak English, Yoruba and Hausa fluently. Also I don’t believe in working for people but working with them because that way am more efficient. I was once Business Development Manager at Emporium Communications, a medium sized media relation firm and currently a Social Media Manager consultant with Secom Nigeria Ltd among others.
The progressive party as your party, APC prides itself lost some seats to PDP and the opposition in Lagos State House of Assembly and House of Representatives in the last general election for the first time in the 16 year history of democracy, is that not an indication that the party is losing ground in the state?
In life you win some and you lose some. It also goes to show that in Lagos State and in APC, election is never do-or-die affair like it happens in PDP controlled states. It was an unfortunate incident that will never repeat itself because the outcomes of the election in those places where we lost didn’t reflect our popularity in every nook and cranny of Lagos State. APC is too formidable a party to lose election in Lagos State even across Southwest with our able leader in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
There is fear in some quarters that due to the current bad economic situation, APC may lose election in the future?
Personally i don’t share such view or fear. We all know this is a mono economy highly dependent on inflows from the sale of crude oil within a global economy in decline. Oil prices have fallen to their lowest level since 2003, at a time sinking below $28 a barrel. And this was because of a slowdown in economic growth in China and Europe among others. The effects of falling prices are being felt by economies around the world, particularly oil producing nations that rely on exports. There is crisis from Azerbaijan to Venezuela. Recently in Azerbaijan there was protest across the nation. The federal government is doing its best by diversifying but the result will not be immediate.
What is your view about godfatherism and imposition in party politics?
Each time I listen to people’s opinion on the issue of imposition and godfatherism, I often laugh because it is quite a complex topic. It is not a straightforward issue as people tend to suggest in most of their discussions. Most times, they condemned it in its entirety, and failed to appreciate it particularly when they are not the godsons or goddaughters. But the fact still remains that godfatherism has its origin in monolithic religion. It also depend on how you perceived godfatherism because to me you can both be loyal to the people, that is the state, and your godfather, since what a reasonable godfather wants is the common good. Even where we patterned our democracy after, the United States, there is godfatherism. As a student of history, I read that JF Kennedy as American president appointed his younger brother, a fresh law graduate, Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General of the United States. So what would you call that?
Why did you venture into partisan politics and why do want to become the chairman of Agege Local Government?
Politics is in my DNA. I joined partisan politics way back in secondary school and have been in the progressive party. I was the Assistant financial secretary of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, in ‘Ward B1’ Gbogunleri/Isale zone, member of defunct UNCP, AD, ACN an currently APC, party secretary, Agege Local Government. My late elder brother, Sharafadeen Egunjobi of blessed memory, was once a councilor in Agege. Am of the conviction that i have all it takes to make Agege a better place, a commercial and social hubs.
You look stylish what informed this?
To me looking good is an everyday business. I don’t joke with the way i look. Appearance is the basis people formed their first impression of someone and i want them to have a great first impression of me. I believe that you can judge a book by its cover. While i was in secondary school, i and my late elder brother had a fashion school by the name, La frique Home of Embroidery.
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