Candidates vying for political positions to represent Amuwo-Odofin community, Lagos Mainland were engaged by residents and critical stakeholders in a public debate put together by Festac Online, a community-driven platform in partnership with InsideMainland in Festac Lagos Mainland, at the weekend.
During the debate, candidates vying for House of Representatives and House of Assembly seats in the Amuwo-Odofin Constituency tried to intimate the voters on their various plans and programmes, attempting to convince them on why they should be elected to represent the constituency.
The debate which held at the Golden Tulip Hotels, Festac, had six house of assembly candidates – Mr. Jide Makinwa (ADP), Mr. Emeka Okpor (YPP), Mrs. Mojisola Alli Macaulay (APC); Mr. Olatunde Bello (APGA); Emmanuel Ajibade (ANN) and Mr. Dipo Olorunrinu (PDP) who currently represents the constituency at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Also present were two House of Representatives candidates namely Barrister (Mrs.) Dorothy Illegbuene (ADC) and Mr. Leonard Ogbonaya (APGA).
InsideMainland was at the event and below are some of the highlights of the debate:
The APC/PDP animosity
The rivalry between the major political party in the state – APC – and the major opposition, PDP, may not abate anytime soon as it also came to play during the debate with one camp giving the other a look of disdain when either of the candidates were speaking.
Aiming a direct jibe at supporters of the APC candidate, Mr. Dipo Olorunrinu of the PDP who is also the incumbent representative of the constituency at the Lagos Assembly taunted Mrs. Macaulay’s supporters for sneering at him while he spoke. In response, they said they were free to do whatever they liked. PDP party faithful also heckled the APC candidate while she spoke.
At the end of the debate when candidates were requested to shake hands, the PDP and APC candidates kept their distances.
PDP LAHA member says it’s not his duty to provide healthcare services
Candidate of the PDP, Mr. Dipo Olorunrinu, dismissed a question directed at him on his plans for health saying it was the exclusive duty of the executive arm. Rebutting, Mr. Makinwa (ADP) expressed his disappointment at the PDP candidate saying that he (Makinwa) would organise health outreach programmes for the constituents if they gave him their mandate.
Amuwo-Odofin is in darkness, Mr. Jide Makinwa, ADP HA candidate raises concern
Mr. Makinwa blamed the criminal activities on the damaged streetlights in the area assuring residents that he would raise funds to light up the constituency if elected.
He lamented the proliferation of hard drugs in the constituency, promising to tackle the scourge through empowerment programmes. Speaking on rising cases of prostitution, he said he would rehabilitate and empower the ladies.
APC House of Assembly candidate vows to arrest patronisers of prostitutes
Mrs. Mojisola Alli Macaulay of the APC, answering questions on how she would reduce prostitution in the area, said she would clamp down on men who patronise them ensuring they are arrested. This, according to her, would reduce the rising cases of prostitution.
Drawing more reactions, she went on to say, “there’s no man I’ll talk to that’ll not listen, no matter how difficult he is” saying she’ll deploy the tactic of lobbying to get what she wanted for her constituents from the governor. She expressed confidence that the gubernatorial candidate of her party would win the election.
ADC House of Reps Candidate promises to dole out 1 year salary to constituency
Barrister Dorothy Illegbuene was inarguably the most dramatic candidate at the debate. Her approach at wooing the voters was somewhat populist. Removing her shoes, she swore on the Bible that she would give out her salary for a period of one year to the constituency if she got elected to represent them at the Federal level.
The YPP lethargy
The lethargy of Mr. Emeka Okpor, the House of Assembly candidate for the Young Progressives Party (YPP), was obvious. When answering questions on his plans for persons living with disability, his response was a bland “I’ll organise a special programme on disability.” Reactions from the audience showed that his responses were unsatisfactory.
He went on to say that he would sponsor a bill for free education in public schools and ensure ‘qualitative’ teachers took over.
ANN: The youth would be my focus
The candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Ajibade, said his main focus would be the youths in the constituency. According to him, the rising cases of crime is caused by the idleness in the youths in the constituency, promising to empower them.
Mr. Ajibade said he would ensure that the waterways are safe for transportation.