In 2013 he was the first runners up winner of best Community Development Association (CDA) Chairman, the prize he won as a result of his focused and dedication to service as the Chairman of Tiwadire CDA. He is Engineer Olabode Ahmed, the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy ( AD) for Lagos House of Assembly, representing Alimosho Constituency 02 in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. His believe that the constituency has suffered gross neglect and abandonment over the years due to imposition of candidates with no passion to serve/represent the constituents. In this interview with the Publisher, Abel Lazarus bares his mind on the reckless abandonment and how he intends to provide desired representation for his constituency.
TAM: Can we meet you sir?
EOA: My names are Engineer Ahmed Olabode, the candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD) for Lagos State House of Assembly representing Alimosho Constituency 02 a resident and former chairman Tiwadire CDA in Okerube area of Igando-Ikotun LCDA, Alimosho LGA.
TAM: How would you describe your political career to date?
EOA: My journey into politics started way back with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to Action Congress (AC) then Action Party of Nigeria (APN) formed by the former governor of Lagos State , Alhaji Lateef Jakande aka Baba Kekere back to the Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN ) after the 2007 elections on the advice of my leader Alhaji Jakande to build a strong and united front to push for the course of the South West and also for his inability to continue in active politics. The ACN later metamorphosed into the All Progressives Congress ( APC) before returning back to AD. I have also contested for various political positions amongst are Senator to represent the Lagos Central senatorial district and the Chairmanship of Igando-Iktoun LCDA twice and the fallouts were part of my reasons of moving out of the party to the Accord party (AP) before returning to AD.
TAM: Would you like to describe exactly the reasons for leaving the APC?
EOA: The party was under siege by few who saw themselves as the cabals and took it upon themselves to determine who gets what as regards occupying every political position in the party without allowing the interest and choice of the members of the party to prevail. First when I contested for the chairmanship position, we(aspirants) were told to step down without primaries because the cabals had their preferred candidate. In the second time I was denied from contesting the primaries also, I had move and contested under the platform of the Accord Party, the result was very encouraging but for the factors of a ruling party organizing the elections played out as all her candidates emerged winners. The state controls the electoral body (LASIEC) responsible for the chairmanship elections and most times the ruling party will always have its way since it’s her agency.
TAM: What do think would have changed this time as you contest for another elective position bearing in mind that the ruling party’s position?
EOA: We expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be fair to all contestant in the 2019 general elections without minding their parties and that adequate security will be in place to prevent any act of illegality.
TAM: What would you say informed your decision of returning to AD?
EOA: The Alliance for Democracy till date remains the only through progressives party and represents the only party that practice the laid down principles of the Yoruba leaders like Chief Obafemi Awolow, Pa Abraha Adesanya and Chief Bola Ige amongst others. The principles that saw the South west took the leadership of politics in Nigeria and enjoyed various dividends of democracy such as the free education and provisions of people’s oriented welfare programs for the downtrodden. Further more, another reason was to rebuild the true Southwest party.
TAM: What would you say informed your decision to contest for LAHA after contesting for that of Senate in the past?
EOA: In politics sometimes you need to review your activities and identify what must have caused you not wining elections, there could be several factors for instance contesting for the position of a senator will definitely require more funds than the House of Assembly hence there might be need to pull back to the grassroots where you have comparative advantages such popularity and able to manage your little funds.
TAM: How ready is the Alliance for Democracy going into the general elections?
EOA: First I must say am grateful returning to AD, as its the only party that its ideology has remained intact from the its formation to date. The Alliance for Democracy believes in solving the problems of the less privilege in the society which was the foundation Chief Obafemi Awolowo laid in the SouthWest politics. Secondly I can say it categorically that AD is a party to beat in the coming elections because majority who left the party have returned with the realization of the intent of those that came to hijack the party. The party is fully ready and its readiness can be seen all over the places. AD remains the only progressives party today unlike those that claim to be progressives yet they do not want those under them to grow. AD believes in internal democracy unlike in the other parties where imposition is the other of the day.
TAM: What would you say is the problem of the past and present representative of your constituency and what difference are you bringing on board?
EOA: Thank you very much for this question’ the major problem with constituency 02 is that the cabal has consistently imposed those with no passion to serve the people in that position, if you look around today you will see that Igando-Ikotun LCDA has remained in perpetual sorry state because her representatives are neither seen nor assessible. They either live in Ikeja or Victoria Island while the people languish in abject abandonment. We have been terrorized, traumatized and degraded by several factors yet nobody to our rescue. The empowerment programs the communities are entitled to are no longer available, they are only answerable to their masters. You see them been recycled from one position to the other because they are very loyal to their masters. When elected as the member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, I will remain here and meet my constituents to know those challenges they face and follow it up with the appropriate actions. I have done it before when I was the Chairman of Tiwadire CDA, I was instrumental to the construction of most of the culverts. The installation of transformers around these communities was achieved under my leadership and my service to the community earned me an award as the first runner up best CDA by Governor Babatunde Fashola SAN in 2013. It’s a track record that speaks volume.
TAM: What your chances of winning the election?
EOA: I just told you that my work in the past will speak for me, the name Ahmed Olabode rings bell within Alimosho and beyond and among my fellow contestants there is no one that has such records. Nigeria’s politics has evolved, people are now conscious of whom they want to vote and with such awareness, am very confident of winning the election.
TAM: You sound so confident of winning the election?
EOA: Yes, am very confident
TAM: How well do you know your opponents ?
EOA: There is little or no need to know them what am particular is to leverage on my track records and the name Olabode Ahmed which is synonymous to passion,dedication and committed to serving her constituents. If there is any other candidates that have such records his will speak for him also.
TAM: How are you educating your electorates prior to the election?
EOA: We have embarked on house to house campaign informing them on the gains of not selling their votes because they will be mortgaging their life for another four years and it’s really yielding results. We also advise them to make sure they collect their PVCs because it is their power to effect the desired change and make sure their votes are counted before leaving the polling both.
TAM: What is your message to your constituents?
EOA: I will urge them to pray for God to direct them on whom to vote so as to liberate them from the bondage we are currently because we might not be able to bear the pains of misrule of another four years. We all have to Join hands to change the present situation and God will surely help us.