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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Deserves Our Collective Political Accolades In Nigeria For Being A Steadfast Instrument In The Emancipation of Nigerians Politically -----Hon. Bayo Osinowo.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu & Hon. Bayo Osinowo.
The legislative arm of every government is seen as the balancing instrument used by the executive to achieve development in either the state, federal or even at the local government levels, so, if the legislature is not performing in her task of passing laws and oversight, the dividends accruable to the citizens would not be achieved as expected.

In Lagos for instance, it is noticeable and worthy of note that the Lagos State House of Assembly had been since 1999 when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was governor, one of the most effective houses of assembly in the country primarily because the members there work in one-accord regardless of the party divide and one person who has been instrumental to the efficiency and unity in the house is Hon. Bayo Osinowo who represents Kosofe Constituency 1.

A forth-timer, Hon. Osinowo who is popularly referred to as “PEPPER” is reckoned as the strongest personality in the house being that he has made himself a truth-worthy servant to the party, APC in Lagos, risen to gain the support and love of his fellow members, helped in making sure that member welfare is made priority by successive governments, stood in the gap for his colleagues at all times and this has earned him the respect he enjoys today across party lines in the house, the respect of his opinions, issues, contributions and most of all, the trust of the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

In this interview, this quintessential politician of repute took time to explain to us, issues that had been craving answers and it is appreciable too that he expressed himself very profoundly beyond even our thought.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
National Leader of the APC.
Q: May we meet you sir?

My name is Bayo Osinowo, an Honourable Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Kosofe Constituency 1.

Q: You’ve been here for 12 years, going to 16 and you are seen as one of the strongest “BONES” in the Lagos State House of Assembly.

In what ways have you contributed to the stability we enjoy in the House of Assembly in Lagos State today?

I thank God who is the owner of everything and I thank you for acknowledging and noticing my contributions here.

If you remember vividly, we formed what is known today as the All Progressives Congress years ago during the June 12 saga, we were arrested by Gen. Sani Abacha who jailed everybody and immediately we came out of detention, we formed a formidable party that has culminated into a very stable force to be reckoned with in the whole of Africa by virtue of what the party that had just a single state in 1999 to a party that has won election at the national level and for a formidable party to be stable, we needed a very strong person, like a tap-root, a strong man, and so we divided ourselves, asked some to go to the Senate, some to the House of Representatives, some to the House of Assembly and I was one of those chosen to be in the Lagos State House of Assembly to help achieve the stability we craved for at that time, to hold and to help the party to germinate.

I contested 2003 to 2007, 2007 to 2011, 2011 to 2015 and by the Grace of God, I have been reelected to represent my people from 2015 to 2019 and I am a fourth timer here.

The purpose of my coming here is to help make this Assembly a role model Assembly and if you look at it vividly you will see that this is the only State Assembly where you will not see Assembly Members engaging in physical combat with themselves on the floor of the house, disgracing the house and the carrying of the symbol of authority of the house, the mace out of the house or invasion as it were and if you see any government performing, it shows that the House of Assembly of such government is stable as it is the House of Parliament that formulates laws that enables a governor to perform.

It is not the job of any parliamentarian to go and construct roods, infact, in the western world; they will arrest any parliamentarian who construct roads as you would have to explain how you got the money and powers to embark on such project. Our duty as parliamentarians is to make laws and protect those laws and to checkmate the executive to make sure they work in accordance with the laws approved by the legislature and not to embark on capital projects in anyway possible. So far so good, the measurement of our performance as legislators is the performance of the governor in the whole of the 57 Local Government Areas in Lagos simultaneously without any hindrance and you will agree that Akinwunmi Ambode is one of the best governors in Nigeria, infact, amongst the first two in the country without sounding immodest through his performance and that shows we as the legislature is performing too, with the secret being the continuity we enjoy in the political sphere here in Lagos State.
Hon. Bayo Osinowo.

We have first timers here in the house, second, third and fourth timers too and by the grace of God, we will still have fifth timers. I’m not saying I am coming back to the house, but we have very intelligent legislators here who can guard this house jealously with their last strength.

A parliamentarian can return to the parliament as many times as possible provided by the law and if anybody condemns this, that means he or she doesn’t understand the workings of the constitution on such matters, because it is when you return you become a ranking member to have a say in the house, you can command some form of respect and help guide the new members on how things are ran in the house.

Q: I see that you and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of your party, the APC has come a long way.
What kind of a man is he for some of us who don’t know him personally?

Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban as he is popularly called is God’s gift to Nigerians and not to Lagocians alone because he is a man with vision. For instance, I said some of us had been in the Hose of Assembly for the past 12 years, he planned it. He said for you to have a formidable house, some of you must return, hold this place tight and protect the interest of the state. That is vision.

When other states were clamouring for funds, as governor the man took loan, 10 Billion Naira at that time and the whole country caught fire with soothsayers carrying on with news that Tinubu had sold Lagos State to collect 10 Billion naira loan, asking what he was going to do with such an amount of money and I went to him and told him that people are asking what we collected 10 Million Naira loan to do and he said to me, “They Do Not Understand What Is Called FINANCIAL ENGINEERING”, Obasanjo is not paying our money and our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is nothing to write home about, if we don’t act proactively in this government by collecting bond to build roads now, in 5 years, we would need times-Ten of this money to achieve the development we desire, that is, if you fail to build a road that is 10million today, in five years, you would need about 50Billion naira to build such road and that made a whole lot of sense in governance to me and if you noticed, he was right by taking the step because that galvanized the system for us in Lagos that even when we were not receiving our allocations, construction work went on smoothly.

It was during that time and with that bond that he was able to construct Ojuelegba Road, Oregun Road, Ajah, Bourdilon Road, that showed to the world that we were capable of managing Lagos even without funds, he cleared up refuse, if you remember what Oshodi used to look like then, Apapa road, Kosofe here, Mile 12, Ikorodu, Lagos used to be the dirtest city before now, but what Asiwaju did in Lagos placed us amongst our equals, if not better than most cities in Africa and the world. This is not about High-rise buildings, but about good roads, management of water-ways, Hospitals, Schools, and again, Asiwaju’s vision of giving people opportunities to excel either in government or politics is equal to non in this country.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with his vision has been able to send a lot of people, quality individuals to the National Assembly, both Senate and House of Representatives, while making sure that loyalty is not taken for granted in anything he does. This man left office as Governor of Lagos in 2007 I guess and between when he left office and now, his impact has double in manifolds as his contributions to the political terrain in Nigeria is second to none as we speak now.

When Asiwaju left office in 2007, he picked Babatunde Fashola to succeed him and Fashola performed wonderfully well beyond any reasonable doubt, and Lagocians told him they will continue to vote for his party, that shows that “PASSON and VISION” worked together to make him the IROKO TREE of the Nigerian politics that he is today.

After Fashola left office in 2015, Tinubu picked Akinwunmi Ambode and without exaggerating, you can see for yourself what is going on under Ambode as Governor of Lagos State.

So, Tinubu is God’s chosen servant for liberation not only in Lagos alone, but across the country and beyond. He is a blessing to us.
Hon. Bayo Osinowo & Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

Q: The name, Bola Tinubu is one name that has suffered hatred and name-calling among people who had never met him before. In the midst of all these, it is evident that God has continually raised him above his peers politically. What would you attribute his political success in Nigeria to being a close associate of his?

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision and sincerity with his people is what has kept him relevant till today politically. Ones there is no doubt, ones your people trust that you will not let them down or betray them, and you are not telling them lies, then forget about the “BLAME OF THE BLAMERS”. We have people whose job is to blame, we call them blamers, don’t worry about them, continue doing the job, focusing on the vision, soon, they, the blamers will be the same people to announce you.

Tinubu is like a tree with fruits, people will not allow such tree to rest. Some will throw stones to get fruits from the tree, some will use planks, school children will gather under the tree to get some fruits, even the owner of the tree will throw stones to get from the fruits of the tree. But any tree without fruits, nobody goes there, meaning that if you are excelling in your field, people will shout of you abroad.

I mean, what haven’t they called the man? Asiwaju is this, asiwaju is that and for the past 12 years, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has not found one fact against him to nail him of any fraud or misappropriation of funds while serving as Governor of Lagos State, especially when he no longer enjoys the immunity he enjoyed as Governor.

Bola Tinubu is a human capital developer, he develops human being, invests in people, look at all the politicians in the South-West, there is not politician in this part of the country that did not pass through the political tutelage of Tinubu at one point or the other. No one, name them, both in PDP and APC, all of them passed through him. He is simply a great philosopher with good ideas, don’t mind them Precious, naturally, we are not God and no one can play God in anything in life, people will attack you, they will say all kinds of things, even me at my level, they have called me all sorts of names and I have been in business before joining politics, even those I contested against, especially those whose fathers cannot talk bad of me, they come out today to talk bad of me, but you don’t worry about that, do your job and God will vindicate you with time.

So, the man Tinubu is an extraordinary person and if that one is not clear, Lagos State is an example of who Tinubu is.

Osun State does have a dime and they are performing. Look at Oyo, look at Ogun, I mean, Lagos is Nigeria and the major part of it is that the man understands how to generate funds, he creates wealth himself, he doesn’t depend on allocation from the federal government, he told us years ago that he was going to put up a financial system that will help boost our Internally Generated Revenue and it came to pass, from 2Billion to 3Billion, to 5Billion, to 6Billion to 10Billion, to 20Billion, to 30Billion, to 35Billion, if there is anyone that deserve our accolades, that man is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaban himself for being an enigma that he is.

Q: Lagos is seen as a Role Model state in terms of performance in Nigeria today and with 2019 around the corner, are you in agreement that the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has done well or are there areas you have concerns about?

No-one will contest the fact that Akinwunmi Ambode has done extraordinarily well as governor of Lagos State. His performance is visible and physical at the same time that if you cannot see, you will hear about it or even feel the impact. Are you talking about the roads? The schools? The bridges? The use of water-ways? What else? The only thing left is for Lagocians to go to the moon and if he is given the powers to do that, I’m certain he would have tried to achieve that.

There is nothing left, he is a performer, Asiwaju calls him “The Wonder Boy” because when a child makes his father proud, the father eulogizes him for better performance. You see Ambode developing the 57 Local Government Areas simultaneously without any hindrance and that is why his father, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and those of us close to him call him the “Wonder-Boy”.

Q: You’ve been a Member of the House of Assembly for four terms now which started in 2003. With 2019 fast approaching, we would like to know if you are coming back for a fifth time?

I don’t pray for that Eze. I have had my turn. I have paid my dues, I have contributed my quota, I have ran my race here in the house creditably, I would love to give room for others to come put in their own effort, not because one is tired, but I’m still a politician, I will remain a politician, but at times, all you need is to seat down and watch those you have mentored play the game to your admiration and you will correct them where necessary. You can see Asiwaju seating and watching us play and enjoying the accolades deserving of a king that he is. I too would like to bring in other people from my constituency as one of the leaders there and we have a lot of brilliant and intelligent young men and women in the constituency who will even perform more than I have done as no man can play the role of God.

Q: Are you retiring to become a godfather or you are stepping up in the lather of political positions?

What do you expect a Lawyer to do than to practice law? What do you expect a Doctor to do than to practice medicine? So, in essence, there is no other job for a politician than to play politics. I’m still going to be in active politics, I may go to the House of Reps or Senate, and I may also seat at home, arrange the party as I had been doing, managing people, managing our system, I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but my life is in the hand of God who knows tomorrow.

Q: Politics you will agree with me sir is all about planning and I’m sure positions or posts may have been shared by now with each person knowing where he or she is going in 2019, either Local, State or to the federal?

The APC is not like that. We are a progressive party; we are different from other parties.

Let me give you an example.

In the PDP, if you want to do an election, all you need to do is to come with your money to the congress, it doesn’t matter if you brought them to the venue of the congress, ones you have money, you can walk into the venue of the congress now and share your money and get more delegates to become the candidate of the party. Even when you are coming there without a single supporter, ones you have your money to share, you will win.

In APC, we follow leaders. We are naturally progressives, so, what do we do? We listen to our leaders, that doesn’t mean we cannot contest their positions on issues with superior arguments, but we do that with a lot of discipline and respect for constituted authority and leadership. Even when we are fighting as party members, we put a lot of restrain and respect, even when we have issues with our leaders, we use diplomacy and never aggression in anyway, pointing fingers, attacking each other, being judgmental, abusing each other, you can’t find those in APC.

We look at the number of people contesting for positions, if they are four for instance, we look at the merits and demerits and look at the one that will bring us more prospects and credibility and field such a person while opening other opportunities for the remaining three in other areas so we all will be happy at the end of the day.

We don’t just pick anybody because you have a PhD or ten degrees, though academic qualifications are necessary but performance and ability to represent well is key.

Q: The congress elections of the All Progressives Congress across major parts of the country, Anambra, Imo, Ekiti and so many other places have been raged with a lot crises in recent time to the extent that an aspirant under the party in Ekiti State, Senator Babafemi Ojudu  had to step down his ambition to be the governor of the state.
As a stakeholder in the APC, could you be kind enough to tell us what exactly is going on?

It is natural politically to have crises. If you are a Christian who goes to church, all you will be hearing everyday is, My God is Good, My God is Good Always. If you go to the Mosque, the same thing, that is in religion. In politics, that is also the format, that is the system, a lot of problems here and there, disagreements here and there, that is the beauty of politics.

What you people outside are looking at as problem is the beauty of politics, ability to contest, ability to say no, ability to disagree, ability to say I won’t support you, ability to say, I will support you, you are not fit for the job, you Eze, go and collect form to contest tomorrow, then you see people accuse you of things you’ve never heard of before, then you will know you have enemies, they will talk about you, your school mates in Primary School will come out to accuse you of stealing a ruler that did not belong to you and because of that, you are not fit to hold public office. We are used to that, though it’s not funny, it is only funny to those who don’t understand the workings of politics and politicians.

Q: Is the declaration of the president, Muhammadu Buhari to run for a second term in office deserving of him?

We have rules and the constitution. As a parliamentarian, if the rules and the constitution of our party and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says he can contest, who then can oppose that? Some people are busy talking about his health, some of those who were strong two years ago when he went to London to take care of himself have all died before the man whom they thought was going to die, which is why I have kept on saying that no one can play God in anyone’s life at all, some even died before he returned from London that time, showing that the life of everyone of us in God’s hands alone.

I cannot determine who will leave and who will die, I am praying to God myself to give me good health and long life and I guess you too are praying the same prayer.

On his performance as president of Nigeria, it’s only somebody who is sick that will say the man is not performing. The Dollar and the Euro has been stable for the past one year now and before APC, you knew what was going on the system, now, there is the fear of Buhari.

The problem of those against the president is simply jealousy because the person whom they thought would not perform is performing to their astonishment.

Q: Thank you so much sir for speaking to us.

You are welcome EZE.

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