ITIRE-IKATE LCDA HOUSE LEADER, HON. HAMMED IDRIS: ‘AS COUNCILLORS, PEOPLE’S PLIGHT IS OUR CONCERN’; URGES 10TH HOUSE OF REPS TO ELEVATE LAGOS 37 LCDAs to LGAs
By Yomi Oyelami, Trek Africa Newspaper
Leader, Itire-Ikate Legislative Assembly and Councillor, Airways Ward, Hon. Hammed Oladipupo Idris
With his dynamic leadership style and progressive stance, Hon. Hammed Oladupupo Idris is championing an innovative ideal starting first from the good people of his Airways Ward to Itire-Ikate LCDA to Surulere at large, then Lagos State, and indeed Nigeria. For the excellent administrator of men and resources, this is how to enforce robust grassroots governance which will lead to a prosperous neighborhood.
The Leader of the Itire-Ikate 5th Legislative Assembly and Councillor, Airways Ward, Hon. Idris has performed credibly his legislative functions in the local council while combining it with constituency projects which have made life easy for his people. Further, he has deployed super lobbying skills to get facilitation from the Office of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives (9th Assembly), Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to achieve groundbreaking results such as the first ever secondary school within Itire-Ikate LCDA as well as some other infrastructural projects.
How did he deliver these results in just two years, the innovative Honorable Hammed Oladipupo Idris shared this and more with Trek Africa Newspaper in an exclusive interview.
Trek Africa: What you have done so far is obviously a product of passion, tell us more about your passion for the grassroots?
Hon. Idris: I have always been a person who enjoys the grassroots and I know that the local government is the closest to the people. If we can make it more viable, a part of the issues in our nation will be reduced drastically. People may not have access to federal and state level but within their community they can tender some of their challenges if the public office holder can look into their needs. How many can go to Alausa talk less of Aso Rock but the local government, this is where we sleep, eat, and we feel our pulse. So if we can develop the local government to a level that people will be proud of then our people will be relieved. It is open door policy with me, my people know me, I spend most of my time with them. I see this councillorship as service to the people. I go out on the streets, I don’t really sit in the office and to God be the glory, I render my support to them.
Trek Africa: Can you share your success stories with us?
Hon. Idris: We don’t have secondary school of our own but courtesy Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, we now have the first secondary school in Itire-Ikate LCDA. We fought for it, we lobbied for it and thank God through Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, that is the massive project you can see ongoing over there. We also have an agricultural centre at Odo-Olowu courtesy of the same person.
It is because we are an LCDA that we can attract these projects otherwise if we were still under the ward level of the past, some of these projects would have gone to Surulere LGA. Right now, the Executive Chairman is siting an ultramodern market at Ijesha expressway which is a beautiful thing to behold.
Because I love education passionately, every year I purchase JAMB form for indigent students and I give scholarship award to anyone of them who score over 250 marks. I also organize Ola Young Brains Quiz competition for pupils under my ward.
Trek Africa: The LCDAs were carved out of the LGAs in Lagos, can you assess their impact?
Hon. Idris: I give massive kudos to our leader and President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for coming with the idea of Local Council Development Area (LCDA) about 20 years ago. I recall that in 2003 we had referendum here and Coker-Aguda and Itire-Ikate LCDAs was carved out of Surulere LGA. Ever since then, we have been improving on our infrastructure. If not for this idea, our people wouldn’t know that this exists. In the past, Itire-Ikate-Ijeshatedo used to be 3 wards under Surulere LGA but now we have 7 wards.
The government is now closer with the LCDA. I can say with the huge population we have here, it is even still not out of place if we have another LG or LCDA carved out of Itire-Ikate, the population is huge. This is what we are benefitting today. It is that idea that has given me the benefit to lead my people as Councilor and House Leader and listen to some of their cries.
Trek Africa: Now that the initiator of the LCDA system is at the centre, what more would you request from him?
Hon. Idris: All kudos to our President, he saw that the future is bright and we can see the results today. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our federal level especially Federal House of Representatives to ensure that Itire-Ikate LCDA and other LCDAs in Lagos become full-fledged LGAs so that we can have direct access to funds and we can think of doing more for our people.
Trek Africa: As the House leader in Itire-Ikate LCDA, how is the relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms?
Hon. Idris: We have had a symbiotic relationship between us the legislators and the Executive arm of government here in Itire-Ikate LCDA. With my colleagues in the House, we do what is expected and we provide checks and balances. We look into our budget and ensure that all departments in the LCDA defend what they intend to do, what they want to spend, and why they want to spend it.
Trek Africa: As a passionate leader, what is your advice for youths who are aspiring to public office particularly at the local councils?
Hon. Idris: The task of running a local council looks huge but it is surmountable. Our Youths shouldn’t get frightened. As councillors, you have to be ready to relate with constituents and ready to work on the field. You can’t be a councillor and sit in the office. A lot of complaints will come, are they getting the right service at the PHC, because the local government is in charge of primary schools, you have to get there to see if the environment is conducive for learning, you have to get to the markets to see where our traders are working.
You have to look at the levies and taxes to see how people are paying and see if it is not too heavy on people because most of them live from head to mouth. It is what they buy that they sell so their cash flow must be preserved and we don’t overtax them. As councilors people’s plight is our concern. Councillorship is something to aspire to, it is a fantastic role.