By Tayo Oyekanmi
That we learn most by experience is an axiom that is very apt and actually captures the experience of the people of Ipokia/Yewa South Federal Consistuency thus far with different Representatives. At least since 1999 the constituents have experienced the Representation of first, Hon Kamoru Oduntan, Hon Iziaq Abiodun Akinlade and Hon Adekunle Akinlade before Hon Kolawole Lawal who just came into the saddle. The experience has been diverse during their different representations. Beside Hon Iziaq Abiodun Akinlade that served for 3 consecutive terms, other served for just a term apiece.
Since Hon Kolawole Lawal was pronounced as the duly elected Representative, as the aftermath of February 23rd elections, he swung into action without waiting for official inauguration and swearing in before starting to erect a building structure in Oke Odan that will serves as one of his Consistuency offices. One also heard from the grapevine that office space is being sort for in both Ilaro and Ipokia to compliment his Parliamentary assignment. This clearly demonstrates not just vision but a man on a mission, focus, determination and commitment to be available and accessible to his constituents.
Not long after his swearing-in, the National Border closure became an issue that affected and still affecting his constituents the most. The agents of the State became highly overzealous in carrying out their assignment. KLM raced down from Abuja to see things from himself. Had firsthand knowledge and information, held deliberation and engagements with the concerned constituted authority. (Apology to a former Governor of Oyo State). KLM was adequately briefed on the reasons and intention of the government, in this case, the Executive Arm which has a near exclusivity in this context that necessitated the border partial closure. KLM told the people via Media after the engagement to exercise patience as things will normalize in no time. The issue at stake looks not to be within the total purview of KLM as a Representative. But by his action he demonstrated responsive representative. He will also do well to also convey the atrocities and over zealousness of these security agents against the people to appropriate quarter.
With the composition of the various standing committees of the House by the Leadership led by the Speaker Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, KLM was privileged to be announced as the Chairman Ethics and Privileges committee. To be sure, this committee serves as the watch dog of the House. It ensures legislative compliance of members. It regulates character and behavior in line with Parliamentary best practices. Erring members who flouted basic rules of engagement of the House are always referred to this committee for investigation and recommendations. The importance of this committee to Parliamentary operations, ethics and procedures cannot be over-emphasized. It’s a sign of good omen and highly commendable that someone of KLM’S status even as a first termer is saddled with the headship of this committee. The Leadership of the House must have thought highly of him and his repository. Interestingly, this is about the first time since 1999 any of our Representatives will be chairing a substantive committee of the House as a first termer. KLM might have just broken an unannounced jinx as it affects our dear Constituency.
Not resting on his legislative oars aspect of his responsibilities, KLM has also been giving serious attention and utmost consideration to the Representative leg of his representation. He is showing concern to the welfare and things that can enhance daily productivity of his constituents. One of such is the highly notorious bad portion of Owode road. Commuters are having a hell of time navigating this route. Presently, it looks as if KLM’s personal intervention is inadequate. The truth is, this portion of road need more than just palliative measure as the problem is bigger in nature than that. Nonetheless the inadequacy of his intervention, it actually typifies responsive representation on his part. This road we can’t forget so soon has defies all known palliative measures. It happened during the era of Hon Abiodun Akinlade, same under Hon Adekunle Akinlade. Invariably this problem and the issue of temporary palliative measures outdated KLM.
He will therefore need more than just luck and hard work to get the ear of the Federal authority to permanently fix this road even with the palliative measure being proposed by the State government.
On the vex issue of wanton killing of our people by men of Nigeria Customs service. KLM has also responded swiftly to the last barbaric act that happened in Ihunbo few days ago like a responsive representative. He had issued a statement condemning the act in strongest terms. He cautioned the bewildered trigger happy agents not to take the hospitality of our people for granted. One just hope Customs will listen and conduct their operations in civilized manner. Hopefully too, KLM will raise the issue on the floor of the House to generate the National attention and solutions it deserves.
It is a fact that legislative lobbying do not always manifest immediately. It takes time before the resultant effects become public knowledge. With the array of events highlighted and some other unmentioned ones within the scope of his first quarter in office. It is safe to say KLM has started on a solid foundation. As of now, if morning shows the day, one can say KLM is showing flashes of a good Representative in the making. Will this good trend continue? Or it is just a flash in the pan? Only time will tell.
– Tayo Oyekanmi is trained Political Scientist and a Human Resources Specialist.