• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Nigeria can only build stronger, trustworthy political environment by addressing corruption – Adelana

Nigeria can only build stronger, trustworthy political environment by addressing corruption – Adelana

Adesegun Adelana, an astute international IT consultant, activist and entrepreneur was the Labour Party (LP) candidate for the Lagos State House of Assembly for Somolu constituency 1 in the 2023 general election. In this exclusive interview with Iniobong Iwok, he shares his experience as a candidate, and what should be done to reposition the nation’s electoral system among several other issues. Excerpt:

You were a House of Assembly candidate in 2023 for LP, what was your experience participating in the election?

Like I said earlier that I am not an accident of history, I have been part of history so far.

My experience participating in the 2023 House of Assembly election as a candidate for the LP in Somolu Constituency 1 was a business as usual in Somolu Local Government unlike any other Local Government in Lagos. So, I can boldly say it was a conventional pattern of Somolu politics where we always have just one candidate facing the All Progressive Congress Party (APC). It has been me and APC since 2020 in my constituency. The campaign was so easy for me but tedious for APC, because I was generally accepted by the Somolu populace and also tagged Somolu unifier candidate.

My political antecedent made things easier for me during the campaign period. My team was full of dedicated and progressive youths who were hungry for creation of New Nigeria.

Everyone in the community was happy seeing a strong contender against the APC Party in that election. I fixed my campaign on the same date and time APC fixed their campaign just to compare the strengths of the two parties in Somolu, above all, I was generally accepted in my constituency than APC

Somolu is predominantly occupied by the Ijebus which are core Yorubas, one of the first five LGA controlled and won by APC consecutively for 24 years. The role of my campaign team humbled President Bola Tinubu and Pronounced His Excellency Peter Obi in the 2023 Presidential election.

We made sure that Tinubu lost Somolu to prove to Nigerians the voting system had changed; the magic was done by vibrant youths that participated selflessly in that election. After the Presidential election came the State Election in which I participated for Lagos State House of Assembly Somolu Constituency 1.

Our victory in the presidential election made APC and Bola Ahmed Tinubu adopted the obnoxious pattern tagged“snatch the box and run away with it” in the state election. On this very fateful date at about 6pm, the APC thugs came out in large numbers, intimidating our members and supporters not to come out to vote otherwise they would kill them… their slogan was “if you are not voting for APC don’t come out”.

I can boldly that I was able to connect with voters in my district and share my platform and ideas effectively. I worked hard to campaign and gain support from the community, and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.

While I may not have won the election, I am proud of the efforts and dedication I put into my campaign and the opportunity to make a difference in my community.

Many Nigerians have called for serious electoral reforms to give credibility to our elections going forward. What is your take?

I believe that electoral reforms are crucial for the credibility and integrity of our elections in Nigeria. It is essential to ensure that the electoral process is transparent, fair, and free from any form of manipulation or interference.

Implementing reforms such as updating voter registration systems, ensuring a level playing field for all candidates, enhancing security at polling stations, and strengthening the independence of electoral bodies can help build trust among voters and ensure that election outcomes accurately reflect the will of the people. By prioritizing electoral reforms, we can enhance the democratic process and promote confidence in our electoral system.

Are you still in the Labour Party?

As of now, I am still a member of the Labour Party. However, I believe that it is essential for the party and the political system as a whole to rid itself of corrupt individuals and practices to truly uphold the values and principles of the party. I am committed to working towards reform and accountability within the party and will continue to advocate for transparency and integrity in our political system. It is only by addressing and confronting corruption that we can build a stronger and more trustworthy political environment for all members and citizens.

The Labour Party has been engulfed in an internal crisis in recent weeks; the NLC has moved to take over the running of the party after the controversial convention by Abure. What is your take on what is happening?

I am deeply concerned about the internal crisis that the Labour Party is currently facing, particularly the controversial convention and the subsequent move by the NLC to take over the running of the party.

Political parties need to uphold democratic principles and processes, and any actions that undermine the integrity and legitimacy of these processes are detrimental to the party and the political system as a whole.

I believe that all party members and stakeholders should come together to address the crisis, engage in constructive dialogue, and work toward a resolution that prioritizes transparency, accountability, and the best interests of the party and its members. It is crucial for the Labour Party to overcome this crisis and emerge stronger and more united moving forward.

Insecurity has remained a problem across Nigeria despite efforts, what is the government not doing right?

Insecurity remains a significant challenge in Nigeria, and it is clear that the government has not been able to effectively address the root causes of this issue. There are several factors contributing to the on-going insecurity, including poverty, unemployment, corruption, weak governance, and ineffective law enforcement strategies.

One of the key areas where the government is not doing enough is in addressing the socio- economic factors that contribute to insecurity. High levels of poverty and unemployment can make individuals more vulnerable to recruitment by criminal or extremist groups. The government needs to prioritize job creation, education, and social welfare programs to address these underlying issues.

Additionally, the government must improve the capacity and effectiveness of its law enforcement and security agencies. This includes investing in training, equipment, and resources for the police and military, as well as enhancing coordination and intelligence-sharing among various security agencies.

The government also needs to hold security personnel accountable for any misconduct or human rights abuses to build trust with the public.

Overall, addressing insecurity in Nigeria requires a multi-faceted approach that tackles both the root causes and symptoms of the issue. The government must demonstrate a strong political will and commitment to implementing comprehensive reforms to improve security and ensure the safety and well-being of all Nigerians.

As a Lagosian what is your reaction to the controversy trailing the Lagos-Calabar highway project?

As a Lagosian, I am troubled by the controversy surrounding the Lagos-Calabar highway project.

The proposed highway is a vital infrastructure project that has the potential to boost economic development and enhance connectivity between different regions in Nigeria. However, the project has been plagued by delays, funding issues, and allegations of corruption, which have raised concerns about its feasibility and transparency.

It is essential for the government to address these controversies and ensure that the project is implemented in a transparent, accountable, and timely manner. Transparency in the procurement process, proper oversight and monitoring of project funds, and accountability for any misuse of resources are crucial to restoring public trust and confidence in the project.

Additionally, stakeholders should be actively engaged in the decision-making process and kept informed about the progress and challenges facing the project.

The Lagos-Calabar highway project has the potential to bring significant benefits to Lagosians and residents of other states along the proposed route. It is crucial for the government to prioritize the completion of the project and ensure that it is executed in a manner that promotes sustainable development, economic growth, and improved connectivity for all Nigerians.

Some Nigerians have canvassed for restructuring and returned to the parliamentary system of government because the current system is too expensive. What is your take?

The issue of restructuring and a return to a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria is a complex and contentious topic that has been debated for many years. Proponents of restructuring argue that it is necessary to address the country’s diverse ethnic and religious divisions, promote greater regional autonomy, and enhance governance efficiency.

Advocates for a return to a parliamentary system believe that it is a more cost-effective and accountable form of government that can better represent the interests of different regions and communities.

While I believe that there are potential benefits to both restructuring and a parliamentary system of government, any major constitutional changes must be carefully considered and thoroughly debated to ensure that they are in the best interest of all Nigerians. It is crucial for stakeholders to engage in open and transparent discussions about these proposals, considering the potential implications, challenges, and benefits that they may bring.

Ultimately, the goal should be to strengthen governance, promote unity, and improve the quality of life for all Nigerians. Whether through restructuring, a return to a parliamentary system, or other reforms, the priority should be to build a more inclusive, accountable, and efficient government that can effectively address the diverse needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people.

Are you taking part in the 2027 election?

Yes, I will contest for the emancipation of my people. Yes, I will be contesting in the 2027 election with the aim of advocating for the emancipation and empowerment of my people. It is my goal to work towards bringing positive change, promoting equality, and addressing the needs of my community.

I am committed to serving my constituents and working towards a better future for all. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to the opportunity to represent and serve my people in the upcoming election.