Why constitutional roles should be given to traditional rulers –Balogun – New Telegraph Newspaper
Prince Idris Balogun is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. The 2023 Federal House of Representatives hopeful speaks on the state of the nation, the 2023 elections in Lagos State and why constitutional roles should be assigned to traditional rulers. WALE ELEGBEDE reports
Why do you want to go to the House of Representatives in 2023?
I have many reasons to be there. I want to represent my people well and I want to sponsor bills that all Nigerians will benefit from, not just the people in my constituency but all Nigerians and they will not be ordinary bills.. That is why I am making my intention known to everybody now.
Have you ever tried to contest in any election?
I am coming out for Federal House of Representatives in 2023 and I believe that God will do it for me.
How would you assess the government of the APC in Lagos State, where has the administration tried and where do you want it to improve upon?
The APC government is trying, the current governor is trying. It started in 1999, when the then governor, Bola Tinubu, was ruling the state. We all saw how the state was before he got in. The whole place was very dirty, it was not organized and you could see how rough Oshodi was. The place changed as soon as he came in. He turned the state around and former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola took over and we could all see what he did. He did a lot of job; he transformed Lagos State to a megacity. On infrastructure, education, healthcare, creation of jobs and others, he was the best. Later, former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode got into office and we could see what he did in the state. He modernized the state and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is trying. If you want to manage Lagos State, you have to be strong because the state is comprised of a lot of tribes and people. So, you must know how to manage them or else you will cause crisis. You have to use your initiative to do many things. It is the Centre of Excellence, where you see people from all over the world, Ghanaians, Indians, British and others due to the thriving economy of the state.
What would you want the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to do about the nation’s economy and insecurity?
President Muhammadu Buhari is trying on the economy and security. Nigeria is not a small place to rule. If you want to rule Nigeria, you have to carry everybody along such as the traditional rulers, governors, local government chairmen, youths and students. That was why I said that I will sponsor a bill that Nigeria should have a fourth tier of government such as legislative, executive, judiciary and the traditional rulers. They will all be operating separately. The traditional rulers would have their responsibilities such that they can help in the area of security. They know the terrain of their domains. When anything is happening, they can ask the traditional rulers to handle it. With this, they would be able to work with law enforcement agents. They may not have the money to do it now, but when they belong, they would even have allocations to do this. They would be able to address the issue of insecurity
How would you want the government to handle the issue of secessionist agitators such as Nnamdi Kanu of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Sunday Igboho of Yoruba Nation agitators?
I have said it that let the traditional rulers be in charge. The likes of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho came from one community or the other. If the fourth tier of government is in place, they will invite them to meetings and ask them what they want. They will then take the report to the president and talk to him about it on what to be done.
Who are your political godfathers?
I don’t believe in political godfatherism. The only person I know is my leader, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, a former deputy governor of Lagos State. She would tell me that anything I want to give her I should go and give to the people. That is the type of leader I want and I am praying for.
What is your guiding principle as a politician?
We do things according to the law, we don’t disobey the law. When you harass us, we will report you to the police or the Department of State Services (DSS) and others. We don’t believe in using thugs. If you intimidate us, we will report you like what happened during the ward congress. When people started attacking us, we just escaped from the place. We later went to the police station to report and I also went to the area commander to make a report personally. That is the way we play our own politics. We just want to liberate our people, who are in bondage of some people in Alimosho
It is believed that former Governor Bola Tinubu is interested in the 2023 presidency; what is your view on the move?
My prayer for Asiwaju Tinubu is that in 2023, he should become our president. He is the only one that can bring us out of the problem from the South-West since we want the president to come from the South. He is the only one, who can take Nigeria to the next level among those aspiring for the office of resident.
What about issues over his medical challenge?
Everybody has one medical challenge or the other, we are only managing them. Tinubu can still spend another 50 years. It is our turn, so don’t let us argue over it so that another region will not take it from us. Let us support Tinubu.
You are from a royal family; do you have a set target that made you to go into politics?
I have my own structure and I have been planning to achieve my aim concerning the goodwill I have with the people. If you go out now, you will see that the people are happy with me and they will be shouting my name ‘Oluomo Kafata.’ I provide free school buses for students in Alimosho area. For over one month now, we have been operating the busses successfully. We have school bags, about 5,000 of them. We have about 2,000 lunch bags, and 5,000 80 leaves exercise books that we will give to the students. My focus is the less privileged and vulnerable people in the society and I support them with the little I have. I have been giving out items and cash to people regularly. I gave out about 15 cars to my people around December last year and January this year. Recently, I put heads together with my committee about how we could reduce poverty in Alimosho. I gave them my opinion and they gave me their own. We said we should acquire land and we got about 100 hectares of land from a neighbouring state recently and I have the pictures of what we shared from the harvest of what we planted there.
You are a prince, if tomorrow your people want you to be an Oba, will you leave politics?
That would be when I am 80 years of age.
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