Let’s meet you
My name is Femi Okeowo. I am a businessman in politics. By profession, I am into transportation business; All means of transportation; road, rail and sea transportation. I have been in politics since 1991 and am still enjoying myself.
You were a renowned PDP leader and candidate. Considering the height you attained in the party, how were they able to convince you to join the Progressives?
They did not tell me anything. We exchanged ideas. The arrangement was to join and help grow the party. They did not have to promise anything and I have not found them wanting. I have contributed my bit. With all my experiences; industrial, political, social, technological and international exposure, I have brought them to bear in politics.
I joined Action Congress in 2009, before we now formed ACN, from there to APC. I have always been there when needed. My experience in the PDP in the last 13, 14 years, is different from when I joined the Progressives.
The difference is just the ruling party that has been in power since 1999, and was doing everything to consolidate, the other one was a party that have been struggling to make its mark, pick two or three people to the National Assembly.
Squirrel meat is different from a ram meat in terms of size and taste. If you are leader in PDP, it’s like a leader of a losing party. A follower in APC, is better than a leader in PDP here in Ifelodun, because you lack prominence. PDP’s ideology and principle fell short of what I wanted and I decided to leave and join the progressives and I have never regretted my action since.
Did you feel threatened by any member of the Action Congress when you joined?
There could not have been. I was the one that was actually a threat to them because I was PDP and PDP was me in the area. So, when I joined Progressives, they were happy because they felt they have won their greatest threat to their side.
I have never been threatened in any form or shape since I joined them. We have been growing the party and I thank God the party is well known across Ajeromi/Ifelodun federal constituency. You know, we are in Ifelodun constituency. I thank God I have paid my dues and the sky cannot be my limit. I have to grow bigger and bigger politically and nothing can limit me.
Tell us about your aspiration for the Chairmanship seat of Ifelodun.
A lot of indigenes of Ifelodun have asked me about my intentions. A lot of questions, have been asked along the line, and I told them am looking at the parameter, my responsibility in the next four or five years, if it will allow me to run for the council seat.
It was not until a week ago that I made up my mind. Ifelodun needs me now to transform and re-orientate the inhabitants. I make bold to say that I can steer the ship of Ifelodun council. It’s a position of responsibility. The resource of the council is bestowed on the chairman to judiciously implement the policies of the council. I am an upright man and my exposure internationally will be brought to bear in this case.
They will expect judicious implementation. My exposure will be brought to bear along the tenets and principles of our founding fathers. Everybody knows there is a template for Lagos state and you cannot do anything outside that scope as given in 1999 when we had a meeting with the governor then. As a progressive, I will not be found wanting.
So, I am running for the Council seat in the next election. We were meant to understand that the current chairmen will vacate their seats come July. So, we are waiting for Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, to come out with their guidelines and timetable so that we can go full swing.
Why did it take you this long to decide?
It would be premature to declare your intention before now. Up till now, LASIEC has not come out with any timetable and why should we be running helter skater. I have done this many times when I was younger and in PDP, now maturity has come to bear.
You can declare your intention after you have done due consultation. I have seen a lot of people showing interest; hanging banners, that is their time, but it’s now my time to show interest. Everybody has plan and agenda. My style is that I want to do consultation and ensure its time to run. There is still intra party consultation. I pray that God will grant our plans to work out.
Aside from your style of doing background checks, what differentiates you from others?
We are all aspirants and there is no candidate yet from the party. Eventually, there will be a flag bearer for the party. We are all different people with different style and approach to things. I believe in full consultation and am still doing it.
The party has not asked anyone to pick up nomination forms and so I don’t know why I should be running helter skater. Everything should be in phases and I am in phase three. Some people don’t understand that your appeal is not until you are picked by the party and that is when you have the party’s ticket. Placing paper around, littering the street with papers is not the proper thing to do. That is not how we have been trained.
How do you think the LGA is handling issue of COVID-19, and what would you do if elected?
It’s the state government that is really handling the issue of C0VID -19 better. I have not seen any serious efforts from the LGA and this is a dangerous diseases. There is no public awareness from the Council. Few minutes ago, we just saw an advertisement from the State government for us to believe that the virus is around and help create the awareness and educate more people about this.
The state government is short of oxygen and they are making efforts to get the vaccine. I don’t think the LGA’s are working in tandem with the State government, just like the state governments are working with the federal government.
If I am voted into office as the Ifelodun LGA boss, I will create more awareness about this disease. Ajeromi is one of the six LGA’S in Lagos that has the highest number of infections and so we should take this pandemic serious.