In this interview with Bankole Taiwo, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikenne local government, Hon Dayo Obadina asked for the support of all amidst the raging Covid-19 pandemic explaining that the governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun has so far shown responsible leadership and deserved all the accolades. Excerpts
How do you assess the steps taken so far by Gov Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State to curtail the spread of Coronavirus pandemic?
Let me start by thanking the almighty God for not allowing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic to be as terrible as what is being recorded in Europe, America and China where it all started from. Having said that I must as well give it to our hardworking governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for demonstrating responsible leadership to ensure that the incident of the deadly virus is reduced to the barest minimum in Ogun State. The index case case, an Italian working with Lafarge Cement factory and one other person said to have gotten the virus from the index case have both recovered and discharged. We only have two cases left and these people are returnees from UK. The governor has prepared Isolation Centres, one at Ikenne Remo, there is another one at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu. Three of such centres are in Abeokuta, all these are to ensure that people are well taken care of in case there are many cases which by the grace of God will not happened. The governor has also mandated production of over 100,000 bottles of sanitizers which are now being distributed to the people. The governor has also been fantastic with the way he is handling the lockdown. The governor saved us so much hardship by pleading with President Muammadu Buhari to give us till Friday night before the lockdown begin so that our people can have their food banks stored and prepare for the challenges ahead. The governor has also promised to to provide relief materials for our people to ease the hardship of this period. I only plead that the governor should please not distribute these relief packages through the politicians, they won’t handle it properly. They will only give it to their families and cronies. I suggest that the relief packages should be distributed through heads of religion organisations, that is, Muslim, Christian and Traditional Religion in each of the communities. I think this is quite good.
What is your take on the people lending helping hands to the government this critical moment?
That’s very appreciated at this time when the whole of human race is under threat. It is against this background that I want to appreciate our own dear Baba Ijebu, Chief Adebutu Kesington for his gracious donation of N100m to the state government to help halt the spread of this disease. The same appreciation goes to his son, Hon Ladi Adebutu who I also learnt has provided about N50m worth of relief materials for onward distribution to the people of the state. I thank other Nigerians and corporate organizations who have also extended their hands of support to ensure that humanity is not wiped off by this evil disease. I also learnt that our former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar donated N50m, he has tried but I hope he will do more. All hands must really be on deck to fight off this pandemic, the support of everyone is quite necessary. I also expected that by now our representatives at the House of Assembly should have gone back to their respective constituencies to support their people. For instance, while the Senators said they are donating half of their salaries, the members of House of Representatives said they are donating two months salaries, what are our state legislators doing? For instance, Since our own representative here at Ikenne local government, Hon Sobukanla was declared winner, I have not seen much of him. You know, I contested against him on the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and lost but immediately the result was announced, I hugged him and congratulated him. However, this is the time for him to come around and help his people. This is the time for him to come around and be counted on the side of the people who laboured hard for him to be where he is today. Other privileged indigenes of the state must also rise up to help, humanity is really in crisis, so, we need all the help that we can muster.
How true is the report that many of you who followed your Principal and 2019 ADC governorship candidate for the state, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, popularly called GNI into APC are feeling unhappy with how you are being treated in the new party?
Well, it is human to feel unhappy when you think that you are probably been forgotten in the schemes of things but I do tell my people that our time will soon come, that the governor has not forgotten us. So, I don’t want to believe that there is any problem, very soon, I trust the governor that he will do the needful especially for some of us who spent fortunes on the election. It is just about contributing our quota to Prince Dapo Abiodun’s mantra of building our future together.
What is your message to the people at this critical time?
I want to urge my people not to panic, they should adhere to the guidelines as given by health workers and the government. They should maintain social distancing, observe personal hygiene, wash their hands with soaps, use sanitizers, avoid crowded places and above all, let us all be prayerful. I believe that the almighty God will see us through, this time will soon become history by the special grace of God.