By Debo Adewale
Political activities in Nigerian context have been relegated to election periods which unfortunately happens in every 4-year, after expiration of a tenure in a democracy. Imperatively so, for re-assessment of performances depending on the portfolio, aside few exceptional cases of resignation of a political office holder, or death just has witnessed recently in many parts of the country and in Kosofe particularly. We pray for the repose of the departed souls.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, as a party is built on providing dividends of democracy to the people but no doubt have grey areas of concerns just like any other near perfect but imperfect set-ups for the reasons that humans steer the affairs of the party and therefore are imperfect mortals. Nonetheless, many progressively minded individuals and organizations have pitch-tent with the party and prefers it over others given their track records. But notwithstanding, there are grey areas this writer believes the party can improve upon to deliver more especially at the grass-root levels.
It is sacrosanct to mention or perhaps reiterate the obvious that keeping constant touch with the public begot preferential attachment in the sub-consciousness of the people especially when it involves activities that bring succor to hard-times and affecting lives positively irrespective of tribe, religious believes and nationality; such are lacking in many political office seekers of the crops of politicians that we have today. However, this writer seeks to address fundamental issues of effective representation and consequences on political parties and democratic sustainability.
The political shenanigans are the foundation of the spate of distrust electorates’ exhibit for several reasons. Many political office holders have no followers; some are disconnected from their constituencies while some are agents of dissension in the grassroots basically for lack of magnetism sensitivity to convincing political antagonists. These categories of people get political offices when they fall in favour with some leaders that can influence their interest and most time they get the power and misbehave, they know-not what grassroots politics stands for.
Casting my mind back to 2018 in readiness for the 2019 elections in Kosofe, the duo of Late Senator Bayo Osinowo and Late Honourable Tunde Braimoh were seen to be bonded with their constituents. Senator Bayo Osinowo, who represented Lagos East Senatorial district till his demise in June 15, 2020 was a typical grass root politician who showed bravery, class and inclusiveness in his political ideology and practices. He was a voice in the political hegemony in Lagos East, likewise Honourable Tunde Braimoh who represented Kosofe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly till his death.
In Kosofe Constituency II, many aspirants jostled to get the ticket to represent one of the highly sensitive constituencies in Lagos State. These include Late Honourable Tunde Braimoh who was seeking re-election as the incumbent, Ambassador (Prince) Sina Bilesanmi who was the immediate past Youth Ambassador for Kosofe Youth Movement (KYM, under the umbrella of National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Mr. Sunday O. Adebayo and Mr. Abisogun. Interestingly, verdict came and the party hierarchy decreed that other contestants with the incumbent should step down in the morning of the primary election when some candidates were already winning even the incumbent. They pledged their loyalty to the party and did as party directed. And not only did aspirant like Hon. Sina Bilesanmi step down, he mobilized for the success of the election at all levels at a point he convinced some members of the Alliance for Democracy, AD in the constituency to join force with the APC to ensure victory at the polls. My emphasis is not on that!!!
Why do some personalities seamlessly attract followers?
We can begin to digest this and expatiate as much as we can but it all boils down to impacting in others positively. Some of the people that stepped down were so aggrieved that they jettison their teams, some did not bother about how the party will fare in the general election, some even left the shores of the country immediately, these are indicators of aspirants with no political structure, who have come to buy people’s conscience with no deep thought of the consequential effect on the party. Hon. Sina Bilesanmi mobilized his campaign team and worked vigorously for the candidacy of Senator Bayo Osinowo and Hon. Tunde Braimoh with his personal fund even though he stepped down out of his wish but he pledged allegiance to the party and still remain faithful. He was on the campaign train of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu and Deputy Babafemi Hamzat. Hon. Bilesanmi was part of the campaign team that went through all the 20 Local Government Areas and the 37 LCDAs in the state with the wives of the Governor and the Deputy Governor in preparatory for the eventual victory of the ticket such is Hon. Bilesanmi’s progressive mind.
No one understands Kosofe Constituency II better than Hon. Bilesanmi Born and buttered in Erunkan, Kosofe, he surely understands the gimmicks of politics of the area, games in the terrain and being one of the indigenes, Hon Bilesanmi, in his benevolent heart, have impacted lives of especially the next generation by sponsoring at least 50 students for the General Certificate Examination (GCE) in Kosofe community indiscriminately since 2007 till date, and he has done severally book donations to the secondary schools in the area as part of his conviction for necessity to impact lives positively. Against all odds, he oversee the execution of a world bank community water project in Agboyi Ketu and Ikosi Isheri axis in 1995 despite the forces that were bent on mismanaging the funds, he stood his ground and the entire community have since being enjoying his decision up till date. So, these and many more makes him a known figure and no wonder he was in the lead that faithful morning before the party took the decision which he abided with.
Here is what distinguishes Hon. Bilesanmi from the pack!!! However, in his nature after the general elections, as an additional effort to alleviate the suffering of the people; Hon. Bilesanmi identifies a critical segment of our economy, the Telecommunication and IT section, where it seems Nigerians are facing uphill tasks; and he passionately mobilized his team to correct the anomalies of the telecom and internet service providers in Nigeria an agitation that have yielded positive result beyond expectation using his platform “Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria, ATCIS” which boast of over 190 million membership subscribers across the six geo-political zones to push for suspension of the planned increase in subscription tariff during the COVID-19 lockdown which was a huge success , the organization is also in the forefront of agitation for the implementation of pay as you use package for the pay TV company multi-choice and others. This has not only endeared him to the people of Kosofe but the entire national subscribers.
Therefore, such is the nature of the person that wants to represent the interest of Kosofe Constituency II. His loyalty to party hierarchy even at the most thorny point stun many people, he has demonstrated leadership characteristic and trait of interest of his people is unambiguous. This is a man that will deliver the constituency to the APC party any given day and deliver the dividend of democracy to the people of Kosofe Constituency II to the credit of the party and the party leadership at all levels. Following the death of Honourable Tunde Braimoh, Kosofe Constituency II shall be going to the polls again for by-election to elect a representative for the post, the All Progressive Congress, APC is therefore encouraged to ensure that people’s will is significantly manifested in their choice making in Kosofe Constituency II race for the Lagos House of Assembly. Hon. Sina Bilesanmi guarantees quality representation, guarantees victory for the APC.