Can we meet you sir.
I am Hon Hassan Adewale Sulaiman, the Councilor representing Ward A, Ifelodun, the Chief Whip and Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Ifelodun Local Council Development Area.
Can you describe your experience in the past three years as a Councilor?
We have been in the office over three years and we thank God for everything. The job may not be as easy as people think because of the peculiar condition of the environment we are living. In Ajegunle, Ojo road and Okoya axis, there is so much break down of law and order perpetrated by these hoodlums and social miscreants in the area.
I was born and brought up in this area and we know each other very well, but that does not mean that we would not do our best to bring the situation under control. I share the same border with Ajeromi Ward B, the leader of their House share boundary with my ward and right from onset everybody knows that it’s not an easy area.
There is tension and trouble almost on daily basis, but we are trying to manage the situation and make the place safer for law abiding citizens of the area. This feat is achievable with the grace of God on our side and with the strong backing of a competent local government Chairman in the person of Alhaji Abdul Fatai Ajidagba. He has been key to the success we have achieved so far because he ensured that there is adequate security and every security organization in the area work harmoniously with the people.
So far, so good, generally we have been able to touch the lives of our people in this environment. I don’t need to tell you that we have done so many things to improve their lives. Our people know that our role is not to award contracts as Councilors, but to pass people orientated
laws and support to the executives to do the good work for the good people of Ifelodun.
If the Chairman says he wants to carry out a project, our responsibility is to take a critical look at what he wants to do and see if it can impact and benefit the good people of Ifelodun. We support him with the necessary legislative backing and this has enabled him to do more beyond every reasonable doubts and everybody can testify to that.
My ward covers the Okoya area, from Bus stop traversing the Okoya area; there is also Jimoh Ojora and part of Okeira that falls into my ward.
We have four or five Community Development Associations (CDAs). When I came in initially, I discovered that it was only three that was functional, the remaining were inactive because of logistics and finance. I felt it was important to work with the CDA’s to enable me reach out to a lot more people in my ward. Apart from the political party and the community, the nearest to the people are the CDA’s and so I felt the need to activate those ones that were not working because the people that represent the community are the CDA’s.
If there are issues in the community, the CDA is where the people will run to and the CDA people will now run to the Councilor representing them in the government and the Councilors will go there to see what can be done to the people.
Okoya CDA once had an electricity issue when the high tension pole was damaged and the wire was dropping so low and I took it upon myself to make sure that I liaise with the Special Adviser to the Chairman on electricity.
We wrote a letter to the then PHCN and the problem was rectified and we spent almost a hundred thousand and about seventy per cent of that expenditure was borne by me to make sure they give us about two poles to replace the bad ones. By that singular act, we were able to save
lives because the high tension wire was already at arms touch which would have caused a disaster.
At Okoya CDA, I have been able to put up a small structure where they hold meetings because that is the area that I emerged from. I really want them to feel my impact.
Jimoh Ojora CDA was in comatose when I came in and I learnt they have been in debt for four years. I supported them morally and financially to ensure they come back into existence because it is a good avenue for reaching out to the grassroots.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, with support from the LGA Chairman, we were able to give out palliatives to the people through their various CDA’s, since we cannot reach out to everybody. This is what I have done personally through the CDA.
They have also created an additional CDA, the Okeira CDA. Originally, Okoya CDA started long ago from Bus stop, when Iya ojo-Aiyenero CDA was being carved out. They took one part of the area and the other part was left out and whatever that was coming never got to them. We
now took it upon ourselves to create one more CDA and we are happy that now everybody is covered.
These are part of what we had done and we had given out GCE forms to indigent students. We were given five forms from council, but we bought more to augmenting it so that it will be sufficient for our people. We have been doing this for the past three years and each form is about fifteen thousand naira. We did that to compliment the one our Chairman has done and we are ready if JAMB form comes out, we will do same.
Equally here is (pointing to set of forms on his table), a training form that I just bought to give people in my ward, for skill acquisition and it is for eleven people as my contribution. As soon as
they graduate from the training, I will support them with tools and equipment in my little way for them to start off.
Majority of them are students while some are preparing for higher institution, but they need to acquire skills. By doing this, instead of roaming about, they can be self-sustaining and also be in the position to support their families.
Aside that, I have offered several financial assistants to people who come with one complain or the other to the office. There is no way you will seat in this office and people will not come to you for financial assistance. We understand that when you are in a position, people believe in you, especially, the people that gave you support.
So, you will be part of solving some of their problems though one may not be able to do everything, but atleast, you must support despite that as a Councilor, one also needs help. We try much to extend hands of support to people, even religious bodies both Christians and Muslims. This assistance is even to people outside my ward.
Despite all these, we will still hope to do more before the end of our tenure. I have long decided to be giving five thousand naira to five people every month out of my salary, though I have not done that since April. However, I hope to resume again this October.
I thought I would be able to cover about 40 people with that because since I cannot reach everybody through that means, let it be on record that we covered a number of people as a way of appreciating the support and confidence they have in me.
But for the House, my primary duty is to ensure the House is in order when we are sitting. It is my duty to ensure that nobody violates the rules and regulations. It is my duty to call members to order and make sure they remain disciplined during proceedings and also ensure
members attend sittings.
If we are not disciplined, we are bound to make unnecessary mistakes, but once you know that somebody is saddled with the responsibility, you know that you are supposed to be at a sitting to
legislate concerning an issue that concerns your environment or the local government. Everybody acts according to the way they are supposed to; including manner of dressing. If any member defaults or is improperly dressed, he or she will be fined or it is deducted from
his sitting allowance.
What has Councillorship caused you?
Well, the job of the Chief Whip does not exceed the chambers and I have always made sure that I creditably do my duty. If you come into this legislative building, you will feel an aura of discipline, from the receptionist to the security. Everybody follows discipline and it is like that to any visitor because the people here are disciplined.
Being a Councilor is challenging because at times people come with some serious request expecting that you will grant them. I may not have the capacity to grant them all, but I will go out of my way sometimes inconveniencing myself to satisfy them..
It can be frustrating sometimes because people may not believe it if you tell them that you do not have. But what I usually do is to keep a list of those requests and begin to attain to them in order of priority and urgency especially when I do not have the capacity to meet all at once.
I have learnt to prioritize needs. If somebody comes for school fees and the other for hospital bill, I quickly settle hospital bill which is matter of life and ask the other to come on a later date.
Do you think you have done enough to merit a second term?
Sincerely, as far as I am concerned, nobody can do it all, as much as people can praise Hon Ajidagba today, yet he cannot say he has done it all.
Personally, apart from being in government, I know Hon Ajidagba has tried for this LCDA because he was not the first Chairman, but go and look at what he has done and what the previous Chairmen did. Go round the local government, you will see Mr. Ajidagba’s signature projects and still he cannot say he has done all.
This simply means that as a Councilor, a representative of the people, there is no how I can do it all, but I strongly believe that during my second term, I will do much more.
So, why are many people gunning for your seat?
Well, good thing is not for one person. Some of them, I have met like Kamaldeen Abdulsalam and I told him that he can register his intention so that people will see his aspiration, but that will not stop me from completing my second term because what I have achieved so far, will speak for me. Moreover, he will need me tomorrow if he wants to contest.
Anyway, life itself is a trial; even coming to life is a trial. One comes to this life, struggles and attain to certain level, and so, if anybody comes out to say they also want to aspire, he just wants to let people know his intention.
But, I am not saying that they are not serious because if I didn’t come out to show my aspiration, I cannot be on this seat today. I am not however underestimating or underrating anybody, but as far as I am concerned, in Ward A, I believe that there is no vacancy for now.
Why did you say no vacancy in Ward A?
If I tell you to go and meet the ward leaders, the members, the CDAs and ask them about me, their ward Councilor, whatever they tell you about Ogidi omo, and then adjudge whether there is vacancy. I may not be good to everybody, but I have that confidence because of my
As for me, I believe I had surpassed expectations and the record I met on ground and that is why believe I deserve a second term and you will confirm it sooner when I start my campaign meeting . Sincerely, I will not mobilize people because my people, and the work I had done will do the mobilization because I am a working Councilor, not because I am a Councilor but because I have something doing which had helped me serve my people more.