"PDP'll Win Back Offa" - Offa PDP Chair

Date: 2012-08-15

Olagoke Alarape Rabiu, Engineer and Politician, Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Offa Local Government Area chapter. The former Head of Works Department in the local government says his administration will be based on reward system as he canvasses for full political participation of grassroots dwellers and promised re-positioning PDP in Offa for future challenges. He spoke with BABATUNDE OPOOLA. Excerpts:

You had a running battle before the list of the executives of the Offa chapter was endorsed by the leadership of the party at the state level.What is the situation at present?

Thank you. Let first make it clear that the process that brought us into office was very democratic and thorough, there was no imposition as it was made open to all interested party members and the outcome was the best exco any political party has ever produced in recent times.

All the stakeholders were involved in the process that evolved in the emergence of the exco, it was all inclusive. I must state here that it was this spirit of oneness that has guided our day-to-day running of the party affairs. We must maintain the unity of purpose that brought unity of purpose that brought us into office. Everyone is united in the common purpose of moving the party forward, having failed in the past because of internal bickering within the party. Like 1 said before our political father in Lagos recently," We've learnt our lessons."

Why did it take some time before the list of the exco was endorsed?

In any political setting, when there are attempts to change the old order, there is bound to be pocket .of resistance. It is a normal political process. We have overcome that and we are moving forward. I have appealed to my co- contestants and we're all united in taking the party to a greater height. It was not that the party was no longer attractive to the people of Offa, but we were embroiled in internal wranglings which engulfed the party, so, it is bitter rivalries that we want to eradicate. It must be reiterated for the benefit of the gullible public that the most visible development in Offa today was by the PDP government between 2003- 2011, from Oyeleke's TIC, Folaranmi to Olawoyin's administration, their programmes and projects have been laudable.

These include the initiation of the Offa clean project to eradicate refuse dump in the area, which has been uninterrupted without outstanding salaries, construction of modern abattoir, modernization of Owode Market with construction of new market stalls and road network, rehabilitation of Atan-Oba Road, Aliu Olatinwo Road, Essa Road, Club5/Colonel Toki Road and many others. What about the upgrading of Lamodi, Igbo-Oro and Abogunungun health centers.

The first industry by the local government was the feed mill established by a PDP government.The list is endless, even the electrification of the industrial lay-out phase 1, was by the PDP government. Except mentioning it in passing I do not want to dwell on this industrial lay out controversy but as a concerned indigence Offa and the H.O.D. works when the site was acquired, I want to advise the present chairman to hands off the area and acquire another land from other families, enter into agreement with them, pay compensation and use it for the housing estate which is the priority of his administration rather use the industrial lay-out for the housing estate which is a deviation from the purpose of the initiators of the industrial plots.

Are you saying the PDP in Offa has put her house in order?

It pains me to always have to explain how resolute and determined we are in the collective efforts at building a stronger PDP to face future challenges. We equally understand what we have lost in terms of political patronages. We have a voters' population of more than 62,000 which is second only to Ifelodun local government area in Kwara South Senatorial District, yet we have not used such weapon to our advantage.

Thank God, things are falling into shape and all the leaders who jointly decided on the list of this exco through unanimous decision have all unequivocally agreed that there is no option but to come together to claim our rightful position in the politics of Kwara State. Happily too, I wish to state that our visit to the Waziri of llorin Dr Olusola Saraki was initiated for the purpose of projecting the new spirit of oneness and the collective desire to work for the success of the party. Baba, an experienced political father was quick to recognize the new spirit in Offa PDP and indeed gave his fatherly advice in the quest to build a strong party. He enjoined us to be united and come together as one big family. I made Baba to understand that even as we realize our mistakes, we deserve to be given our commissionership slot and special adviser. We are happy, Baba has promised to resolve the issue. He took good care of us, in fact, Baba Saraki is great.

What is your vision for the party?

First my mission is build a party based on reward system of participatory politics, where everyone will have a sense of belonging. If you serve the party well, you would be compensated. My vision is a straight forward initiative to win Offa for the PDP in all future elections. It is very important that we must deliver the local government, we have the materials, we have the programmes and the projects.

The state government's shared prosperity initiative has targeted Offa for strategic infrastructural development. What else can one say of the construction of the General Hospital? This is a project that is overwhelming. The previous administration have created indelible footprints in the development of the Offa.

What is your message to the party?

Discipline is the watchword. Party discipline and loyalty cannot be compromised. It cannot be business as usual where anything goes.

Very soon, we shall inaugurate a disciplinary committee to be chaired by a lawyer in line with the provisions of the party constitution. Also, I want to commend our political office holders for their contributions to the party, I must equally appreciate the support and financial assistance of our leaders for the support during our inauguration and for their Ramadan gifts to party members. To Prof S.O. Adeyemi, Engr. Kola Shittu, Chief Segun Olawoyin, Chief Kayode Adebiyi, Arc. Lola Ashiru, Hon Raufu Ibrahim, Senator S. S. Ajibola, Hon. Deacon Opaleke, Hon, Kola Bukoye and many others too numerous to mention, we are indeed grateful.

Culled from The Herald Newspaper

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