Encomiums were showered on the lawmaker representing Idanre Constituency in Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Festus Akingbaso for empowering not less than 130 persons in his constituency with 25 motorcycles, 20 deep freezers, 10 gas cookers and burners, 10 dryers, 20 sewing machines, 20 generators, 20 grinding machines and five refrigerators.
According to Akingbaso while distributing the items on Wednesday in Akure said the empowerment programme cost him over N28m, which he said was beyond party affiliations.
Dismissing the allegation that the Ninth Assembly is not giving back to their constituencies, Akingbaso revealed that the lawmakers do not get paid regularly to embark on any meaningful project in their constituencies.
He said, “No, it is not so; it is not their fault because what we are earning from the state is not coming regularly as it is supposed to be. For example, we took some salaries and running grant a week ago which is not for this January, December, November or September.
“We are talking of September as at January, how do you want them to go back home and empower their people? This will be a little bit difficult, so, we can’t blame them much.”
The lawmaker, who declared his ambition for Federal House of Representatives seat in 2023, however, disclosed that he has other means of income and this gave him the privilege to give the dividends of democracy to his constituents at his own expense.
“To me I don’t plan to stay in Ondo State for any reason at all because there is nothing much to enjoy, particularly this dispensation in Ondo State. If God says yes, I have been trying possible best to give the dividend of democracy back to my local government and people, most especially the people of Idanre.
“This is why I have confidence to say I am planning to go higher to represent my Federal Constituency in the forthcoming 2023 election. The chance is of PDP, if we have free and fair election is very bright. People are ready for PDP because it is not selfish.”
While the former state PDP Chairman, Dr. Tayo Dairo, noted that the empowerment programme is to ensure that people are gainfully employed in the private sector and to reduce unemployment rate.
“What Akingbaso is trying to do is to ensure he reduces the level of poverty in the area by giving item to enhance the development of those that are trying to make a living.”
Dairo, who said the major opposition party is more united than ever, disclosed that the party is making frantic efforts to eradicate any area of significant interest, saying the party is ready to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He lamented that APC at the state and Federal levels has not been able to give quality leadership to the masses in the past six years, saying the indices of development is tremendously low.
“A bag of rice was N8,000 before they came to power, now N28,000; bag of cement then N2,000, now N4,500; petrol was N86.00 before now they are selling N162 and they are still planning to push it higher.
“By the time you look at this, APC has a poor comprehension of economic development for this nation. It is good that Nigerians have tried them and they have seen their level of performance. We are not out to disgrace them out of office, but let them go.”
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