Hon. Femi Saheed is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the forthcoming October 31st bye-elections in Kosofe area of Lagos state.
He’s contesting for a seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Kosofe Constituency 1 in the hallowed chamber.
Hon. Femi Saheed intends to replace late Hon. Tunde Braimoh who represented the Constituency in the Assembly, but died on 10th July, 2020.
Hon. Femi Saheed educational sojourn started at Itire Primary School, Surulere where he completed his primary education. He proceeded to Govt. College Kaduna for his post primary education. An alumnus of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma where he studied Economics and a post graduate Master’s of Science degree holder in Environmental Resources Mgt., LASU.
His experience in the banking industry spanned a period of over two decades where he got many trainings and retraining that have helped to build his personality.
Hon. Femi Saheed political career started as far back as the beginning of the 4th Republic. In 2003, he was appointed the Youth Leader of Ward F, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area and served till 2007. His performance as a Ward Youth Leader necessitated his selection as Ward Secretary between 2007 and 2009. In 2015, he actively participated as a team member for the emergence of all APC flag bearers from presidency to State House of Assembly. He maintained same position during the 2019 General Elections.
In 2017, he was appointed a member of the State Planning and Strategic Committee for the conduct of Local Govt. Council Elections.
He was appointed the Acting State Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, Lagos State between 2017 and 2019. His responsibility was management of the State Secretariat. By this position, he was also a member of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos.
In 2019, he was appointed the Assistant State Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Lagos State. He served in this capacity until his resignation in 2020. In this chat with TheCommentNG Hon. Femi Saheed spoke about his chances in the forthcoming election, how he intends to positively make impact in his constituency amongst others.
What informed your incursion into politics?
Politics is an instrument any right thinking person would use to change the perspective and narratives about poverty, environmental challenges, security, and most of the myriad of challenges we have in this country. We cannot stay aloof and expect changes to happen in a day. You have to belong, you have to join politics in order to make the desired changes. Apart from being a trained economist and environmentalist, we need to go further to advance the implementation of most of the professional skills and that is one of the drives. When I see development all over the world, and good things I try to tap from them. Thinking that why can’t God use me to put my society at the front burner of development the way we have it all over the world. My drive and passion in politics is to elevate, enlighten my people, put them on a high pedestal that will be globally competitive.
Do you have any background in lawmaking?
My party, the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) has equipped me with all the necessary skills of life, I started as a youth leader from the grass roots, I moved to the state, I performed meritoriously as the acting state secretary and assistant state secretary of the party. Being in these positions gave me opportunities to know various challenges, the quality of people needed to occupy various positions. Secondly, the party has a very good manifesto, but without good lawmakers this manifesto may not be positively impacted on the electorate. These are some of the things that have adequately equipped me for the task ahead. As secretary of the party, I have robust knowledge of the party manifesto and the needs of my immediate constituency. So, going into lawmaking is for me to debate, adjudicate, and see to the implementation of the party manifesto.
Getting the job done in lawmaking involves lobbying, underground politicking and whatnot. How ready are you for these challenges ?
Glory be to God that my party has majority in the Lagos Assembly, and the present speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa is someone that understands the nitty-gritty of the developmental plans of Lagos state. So it’s in tune with this that all the lawmakers working with him have been energising, synergising their thoughts, putting them at the front burner. So, the only thing is for you to see reasons why a certain project should come before the other, and with the support the people have in me and coupled with the understanding that I have on how the party works, it will be easier for me. Because most of the lawmakers in the present Lagos Assembly are those that i have had relationship with over the years as the party secretary. So I am not a new comer to the game. The only thing is I am moving from the party administration to law making.
You’re not the only person who vied for this position within your party, what is the relationship between you and other aspirants…?
It is one party. The party called elders and reconciliation meetings where all of them unanimously adopted me as the flagbearer of the party in the coming election. The party put that proposal to them and they adopted me, which means the party has already paved an understanding between us, and cemented the understanding, their support is what I am enjoying now. I can tell you categorically that I have overwhelming support from the people I contested with and the party.
How would you describe your chances as we go into the election bearing in mind that other political parties are also presenting candidates for the election?
As a party that has put Lagos state at the front burner of development for almost two decades, and as a party that is popular in lagos, and as a candidate that is vibrant in politics, exposed, experienced and also have good academic qualifications, I believe there is no candidate any other party will present that will be exposed, knowledgeable in the developmental plan of Lagos as I am. So, I believe that i stand a better chance of winning the election.
How equipped are you in terms of some of the needs of your constituency?
If you consider environmental challenges, we have riverine area here like Agboyi area. At Agboyi, they need bridge, at Agboyi they need clean water, there is only one ancient primary school that’s in Agboyi. So it’s part of our plan to put Agboyi at the front burner, we are going to make it a tourist attraction like we have in Badagry. We will try as much as possible to make sure that during my rein, we lobby and put secondary school in Agboyi so that residents of Agboyi don’t need to cross the river down to Ogudu to attend secondary school. Moving schools closer to the prople of Agboyi is part of my plan. I am also looking at road infrastructure. My place is a cosmopolitan area where people from Ikorodu etc pass through my constituency before they get to their destinations. The inner road networks would be looked into to make it easier for people to move from one place to another. Youth restiveness is another area I am going to look into. This is largely due to issue of unemployment. We are going to capitalise on our strength, which is our markets – we have the biggest food market in Nigeria and so on, these are areas we can create employment for the youths and make the market a model for everyone to see. These are some of the things that as a legislator we are going to put at the front burner and people are going to see reason why most of these markets must be elevated from their present status to a befitting status. Apart from that we will be looking at security challenges. Lagos State Government is trying in this regards compared to some of the other states. We are going to ensure that the security challenges are put under check inorder to ensure that lives and properties of people living in this area are safe. These are some of the things we plan to do. And also make good laws to make the society a better place for everyone.
Governance is a continuum, the last representative of your constituency whose seat you are contesting for, late Hon. Tunde Braimoh would definitely have unfinished programmes, are you thinking of incorporating his programme into your own?
May Almighty God grant late Hon. Tunde Braimoh Al-Janat Fridaus. He represented our constituency very well. Whatever good plans he had for my constituency or whatever requests that are on his table, any of his bills or motions that is still in the Assembly that are germane to the development of my community are going to be the first thing I will work on. Because they are requests from my community. Other good ones would also be carried out because different challenges are coming up every time.