I am not coming just to build roads - Segun Showunmi - THE NEWS FOUNTAIN


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I am not coming just to build roads - Segun Showunmi

We need to modernize our farming system to save ourselves from all impending dangers – Segun Showunmi

QUESTION: May we meet you?
SHOWUNMI:  My name is Segun Sowunmi. I am from Abeokuta. I am a happy person who has had a bit of experience around political process, so you could say I am a politically exposed person. I used to be the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the former governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. At a point in time, I was a Senior Special Adviser on Economic Policy and Media as well to Otunba Gbenga Daniel. I have also been opportuned to be the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), campaigning for the Presidency in 2011. I have continued to stay with and articulate the issues of PDP. I am a Christian and married with children and by training, I am a multi-linguistic. I am always interested in how things can be done differently and better.
QUESTION: Do you intend to go for any political office in 2019 considering the fact that your billboard is all over places?
SHOWUNMI: ln almost eighteen years, I have been part of political process. I have never thought of felt that I should push myself forward to represent my people. I just wait, do the job and if anyone comes, I preach and try to encourage them. But I observe the level at which they are delivering services to our people especially at the house of Representative level is too low. This is the town where I come from, Abeokuta South, in Ogun state. This is the town some of the best hands and some of the best training and opportunities may have ordinarily showcasing because they embraced everything very early educational-wise. I begin to look at where development is going and I think that with complimentary efforts at different layers is not going on well enough.
I am not coming just to build roads and many other things. We are coming to figure out what other things can be done from the legislative point of view. We have not get quality representation from our State when you see them in the cumulative issues they are been. You hardly move around in any environment and see the impact of anything meaningful they are doing and I thought that before we become less than what our destiny gave us opportunity to be in Ogun State. I better now present myself to go and try and be the representatives of Abeokuta South Federal House Constituency in the Federal House of Representative Abuja that we may by doing it demonstrate to the world, demonstrate to our people that it can be done better and meaningfully. I cannot imagine somebody goes to represent in an urban area at the Federal House of Representative and his Constituency Project is the buying of Okada.
It is not that I do not accept people should do that but that can’t be all what they can do. If you want to create value for the people you must be more interested how you strengthen whatever is by the way of education. You must be interested in how you get human capital development in Sports and how you energize the youths to provide more access for them. You articulate their wishes by town hall meetings to know exactly what the people want. If I were to be successful that people gave me their mandates, one of the minimum thing that will happen in Abeokuta South is that all secondary Schools must have wireless internet. I do know that this is the only way to get the students appreciate what is going on in the outside world quickly. And if you put wireless Wi-Fi in schools all the students and teachers can go on internet at no cost.
If I were given the chance to represent my people, I will set up clinics and after school clinics for sports. I cannot imagine all the stadia lying fallow there and we have young people that are not engaged. It doesn’t cost too much to get coach for basketball, boxing, soccer, athletics and buying the equipment. All the equipment and kits are not that costly. Putting a bus to convey the students after school will do. I cannot ever imagine that I will be in Abuja if the mandate was given to me and major issues will be debated and our opinion will not be heard. If I go there, my salary will be divided into two and a half will be used to empower people not by giving them rice, beans, Okada and other things politicians use for empowerment. It is also in my programme to open ICT canters that will take care of 100 people at a time mainly to support the School Internet Wireless programme for free. Regular Town hall meetings will be put in  place not to distribute food items but to engage the people of what we have done, what we intend to do and as what the people want. The essence of this is foe our people to appreciate themselves for putting their trust in me. My stand remains how do we leave legacies that can sustain our people and significantly impact them.
QUESTION: Any government that fails to protect the lives of his people is a failed government. This statement credited to Chief Olu Falae. What is your take on it?
SHOWUNMI: Chief Olu Falae is correct. That is a very popular major quote. It is believed that the first duty of government is to protect lives and properties. But it is easier said than done. There are things that befall Nations that is the result of carelessness from the previous times that comes to play. For instance, if you are a nation like Nigeria and you are not bothered to figure out an identity system for your people in such a way that government can identify you to an address it means if one goes and commit crimes they cannot even find you. Also, if the rate of unemployment continues to balloon without figuring out how to provide social safety net. It is only a matter of time before desperation will come in when people becomes easily available to crime.
We need to modernize our farming system to save ourselves from all impending dangers because animal cannot differentiate between cash crops and weed. The business of government is to sit down every day and ask themselves how we can do it better. We have not reached the point when we say everything we need has been done. We are too complacent. They just go there to steal and when they steal you ask yourself what are doing with the money they stole. They live reckless lives and try to guarantee the lives of their children. Take cursory look at history. You cannot even find their children significantly doing better than other peoples’ children from the resources that were stolen. Chief Falae is right for knowing the answer but is not a reason to blame just one man.I am scared what if young people that just graduated got sparked as a result of unemployment. We have seen it in the case of Arab and who told you that such cannot happen here. We need to get serious with what we are doing.
QUESTION: Sir, as a political pundit, how can we correct all these wrongs?
SHOWUNMI: Before now, I have been preaching and telling people how to do it but with what is on ground, I now decided to run the House of  Representative race purposely to teach people how to do it and to show myself as an example. If I were given the mandate, I believe we have 9 Federal Constituencies in Ogun State and 360 throughout the Federation. Once I lead by example people from other constituencies will demand good representation from their own representatives. We cannot continue like this because we blame Federal Government for everything. How about our legislators?  I cannot imagine how corruption can be a major problem for us and cannot be a major problem for legislators? It was a major problem for legislators from oversight functions, from budget and people should come and defend well. But when it comes to implementation, it becomes a problem for the whole country.
The way we are doing it, we believe it is the business of the president to do everything. There is a reason we have three tiers of government. It’s the duty of the journalist to go after good information and shame looters. It is the business of the judge to jail them. It is the business of the legislators to strengthen the laws and we as a citizen we must pay attention to the process. As a citizen, you can write your legislator. What exactly is their function? But if we all fail to do our parts,we will leave everybody at the mercy of God. God gave us everything and the only thing we need is for us to be dedicated. I have been around since democratic process started in 1999. I came from Europe and did not say I know the problems of the people. I sat with them which make me to understand their needs. I am completely convinced that I can do better. It will be a disservice on my part if I do not present myself for service.
QUESTION: The 8th National Assembly has been at loggerheads with the Executive. What do you think is responsible?
SHOWUNMI: First and foremost, we as a people have not been reasonable especially those of them we have been sending to Abuja. It is a party that gave us their mandates and it is the people of your constituency that sent you there. So, there are two fundamental things that you must not forget. One, you owe your people good representation. Two, you must not become a hindrance to the progress of your party. When you become a problem to your party, it means you do not allow the party to grow.
Everywhere in the world, there are party caucuses who look at what the agenda our presidency is and if they have majority in the House, it is expected that their leadership and their majority member will be working together and not working against them. How can you convert yourself to the opposition of your own government? It can’t be right. Not that your party wants to go left and you are saying no so that they can be begging you. You all came together to form the government. Nobody profits when you don’t allow the government to run well. The both Houses have the responsibility to choose their leaders without any interference. Whoever they choose the executive must work with the person and not trying to pocket the person because he not your candidate. If you are not going there to steal why do I need to pocket you?
And some of these legislators do not attend sitting while some of them use the periods of sitting to sleep, And at the end of the day, the will say they want to be governor. Five minutes after they become Senator, they began to give their Governor problems. Finish with what you are doing first. In Ogun State for example, have we touched the lives of the people medically, educationally, economically before we start telling people the position you want to go after the one you are still doing. If you don’t think right, you can’t act right.
QUESTION: Festus Keyamo has just been appointed as the official spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign. What is your reaction?
SHOWUNMI: I am not a member of their party. It is their business. The President wants another term. Let us come together and solve the problems of our nation now. Nelson Mandela, great man spent 27 years in the prison, (Buhari did not) came out from that prison, took over the reign of his country and did only one term and yet South Africa is making progress. I am extremely disappointed. I repeat, I’m extremely disappointed in President Muhammodu Buhari. I would have expected him considering his health, age, energy required to drive Nigeria, to just say gentlemen, all the good things I want to do I have set them in motion.
See, I have never been this fooled. It has always been about themselves and they are only playing to the gallery and deceiving us. If you say you don’t like money, look at your kids they are not poor like that, look at your wife she is not poor like that and you yourself is not poor like that. So, if you say you are a man of integrity, what other integrity is better than the self-evaluation of what ought to be right for your people. We know it is his right to come out and he has came out. We will interrogate the issues and give Nigerians the opportunities to choose better what is good for Nigeria. I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that our President cannot go through the rigors of campaign. Let them go and do an artillery for him to start coming to States. It is not his fault, time, age and nature will do what it will do.
You asked me that they chose Festus Keyamo as their spokesperson. Good luck to them. Festus is going to learn that managing spokesperson narrative is not in his ally and he does not have what it takes. I just wish and pray they appoint me as the spokesperson for PDP so that I and Festus can go at it. I know a rule of court is not going to work here. And if they don’t appoint me I will still try and do the best I can. I know he is not going to have protection of the court. I will help him drag his SAN-ship on the street in the mucky waters of politics. 

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