By Ayodele Ayelomi
Victor Kolade Akinjo, Member of House of Representatives, representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency, has declared that his re-election into the lower federal legislative chamber is a challenge to offer better representation to his people.
Akinjo, in an interview, after his inauguration as a member of the ninth House said the longer a legislator spend in the parliament, the better for him/her and the constituency as the acquired experience could be used for the betterment of the people.
He said his new task will be to bring better representation to his constituents in other to ensure that they get their deserved entitlements in the federation.
“I am excited in the sense that the new parliament presents me with an opportunity to re-dedicate myself to the service of my people and also to re-fire on the latent cylinder for me to represent them well to assist them in getting what is theirs and what is ours is ours,” he said.
One major challenge Akinjo is preparing to face in the coming legislative term is how to effectively draw the attention of the government to the various environmental challenges facing his communities, especially sea erosion and incursion; and provision of enduring solutions to these challenges, particularly through legislation.
Akinjo, who was a former President of the Students Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said he has used a better part of his first tour of duty at the House to fight for his people, basically through promoting good legislations on their challenges and spreading opportunities for prosperity to them
These opportunities include introduction of a new cooperative model to the various communities in his constituency, which currently involved about 100 cooperatives groups giving ample financial independence to the people.
Over the years, he has also distributed over 51,000 litres of water to the people, who live in the coastal areas but lack potable water. Likewise he has been able to domesticate other opportunities to the people while breaking down bureaucracy in the corridor of power by making them to have easy accessibility.
While all these have helped to endear him to the people, he is excited to do more for them.
“I am back here with the same responsibilities but with different potentials,” he said.
He is raring to go into the tasks involved in providing good representation to the people in the ninth Assembly as he believes the new House will live up to the people expectations.
He said the eight Assembly basically helped in the “stabilisation of the democratic structure in the country and insistence on the constitutional independence of the Legislature .”
He is optimistic that the achievements of former Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara and other leaders of the eighth National Assembly would be consolidated by the new leadership of the national Assembly, while improving on the relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.
However, he is quick to add that the Legislature will not be subjugated to any other arm of the government.
“What is important is that no one can trade that institution for any other institution. Everybody there is conscious of the need to safeguard our democracy. At the level of the parliament, nobody can compromise us, Gbaja can not compromise us,” he said.
He will want the national Assembly to focus more on providing the essential need of the people in the area of security.
On the local level, he is determined to explore “the vast opportunities at the ecological department” to tackle the myriad of ecological problems facing his people. To him, this is an unfinished business as he was unable to exploit this in his first term at the National Assembly.
Now, he is determined to bring to fore the myriad of environmental challenges facing his people, “the people occupying the longest coastline in Nigeria, which is about 192 kilometers,” while vowing to use his representation to correct this.
He also noted that his next four years will be used to right his wrongs and place his life in the history of a great nation becoming.
He then urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of June 12 and use it as part of their lives, “ensuring that we invest more on the concept of the rule of law and fundamentals of a free society.”
“Am concerned that if the stadium was not to be available, what are we going to name after MKO Abiola. We should fight to put structures that will better humanity in us. Invest more in , infrastructure that will better the lives of the people so that we can have more to name after Abiola,” he said.
Akinjo added that “if MKO were to be alive, the real democracy would have been celebrated to be for the common people”
He said it is sad that there is high turnover of the legislators, who are under more pressure from the “restless” people for resources they are not earning, than the members of the Executive, who are supposed to be in-charge provision of basic infrastructure.
But he said this political evolution of the country has also been beneficial to the system as “we have left the radial of legislation to radial of executive responsibility,” which had in turn helped to sharpen and brought out some good legislators, who are “arrowed and stoned by the restless electorate.”
“I have survived this not because I am strong but I have survived it just around the political understanding of my people. Mine would just be to spend in the next four years to righting the wrong and place myself in the history of our nation,” he said.