Military making progress in war against insurgency
Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Army, Tajudeen Adeyemi Adefisoye, who represents Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency of Ondo State, in this chat speaks on national issues including insecurity in the country and the Amotekun Security Corps floated by South West states.
By Olayinka Ajayi
On the war against terrorism
My position as the deputy chairman House Committee on Army has afforded me the opportunity of undertaking on-the-spot assessment of the insurgency war. I have seen that the war is truly complicated and not as easy as we think due to certain factors. For instance, the nation’s borders that are largely unmanned is contributing its toll to the lingering terrorism war.
This is not to say that we are not winning the war but the truth is that the war is far from being over. I have been to the border of Sambisa Forest in the cause of my oversight duties and I can confirm that the war situation is not as bad as it was some six years ago. I can also confirm that our military is making progress in the war because these insurgents are no longer in control of any part of Nigeria unlike what was obtainable six years ago.
Although, I am not oblivious of the fact that members of Boko Haram still launch occasional attacks on soft targets thereby wreaking regrettable havocs, it is encouraging that men of Nigerian military have also changed tactics by taking the war to the hideouts of these terrorists. Before now, what they do is to wait in their operational bases and repel these terrorists whenever they come out of hiding to launch an attack. If the current onslaught on the terrorists by men and officers of Nigerian military can be sustained, I am upbeat that the war will be convincingly won sooner than later.
What are your thoughts on Amotekun?
Amotekun is without doubt a child of necessity and anyone that is against its establishment is likely to have deals with criminal elements. The idea of Amotekun is novel and good. It is a welcome initiative that enjoys the support of virtually all the people that are resident in the South-western part of Nigeria. I must also commend the resolute determination of all the six South West governors, which led to the birth of Amotekun. And of course, all the six Houses of Assembly speakers in the region and their lawmakers are also deserving of commendation on the establishment of Amotekun. It is now expected that the spate of crime, particularly kidnapping and robbery in the South-West will begin to get reduced with the establishment of Amotekun.
However, my fears for Amotekun is that fellow politicians will not turn the corps into an instrument to harass, intimidate and possibly set up their political opponents. Another fear is in the area of funding. It is important that the welfare of the operatives of any security outfit that bear arms must be given thoughtful consideration. We cannot choose to pay members of Amotekun pittance and expect them not to misbehave and easily get compromised.
Council election will be held in Ondo State soon, do you think your popularity can win your local government, Idanre for your party, the Social Democratic Party, SDP?
If there is anything that gives me joy everyday, it is the fact that I will once again have an opportunity to put my popularity to test in my constituency. My popularity is not in doubt and we are equally presenting popular candidates as well. SDP is the party to beat in my constituency and particularly in Idanre, my local government area. My only concern is if ODIEC will allow the votes of our people to count in the local government election. The ODIEC Chairman and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu have both assured that votes will count in the election and we trust them to make good their promises.
I can assure you that SDP will win Idanre Local Government overwhelmingly. I only see the election as a test of popularity and I can’t wait for the day to come.
His impact as a member of the House of Representatives in the last eight months of being inaugurated
As Deputy Chairman House Committee on Army, we have worked to ensure timely passage of the budget of Nigerian Army. I have also made it a priority that the welfare of our soldiers fighting in the North-East is markedly improved upon. We have also ensured that budgetary provision is made to take care of this. I have so far moved four motions on the floor of the House and sponsored a bill. So far, my oversight duties have also been carried out diligently and conscientiously in the best interest of our nation. I can confidently say that my constituents have been positively impacted by my quality representation. I have in the last eight months awarded scholarships to numerable students in my constituency.
We have organized the Small Alhaji Community Grant. This is an initiative through which we have been giving grants to women that are into small and medium entrepreneurs SMEs in my constituency on a quarterly basis. We are set to give same grant to another set of beneficiaries in Ifedore soon. This is a grant and not a loan that we give to traders in my constituency every three months. We have also launched and executed ‘Operation Keep The Tap Running’. Virtually all the dysfunctional boreholes in my constituency have so far been repaired through this operation while we are also working on sinking new boreholes for the people. This is in fulfilment of my promise to provide potable water for my constituents to save them from getting their drinking water and water for domestic use from unhygienic sources.
We are also renovating the palace of the paramount ruler of Idanre, the Owa of Idanre. We have so far constructed a police post in Ero community and also renovated a block of three classrooms in same Ero community. I have also appointed about 60 people as aides from my constituency. The aides have been on my payroll since we came into office. As a matter of fact, projects that we are attracting to Idanre/Ifedore in this last eight months are more than what was achieved in the last 20 years by other representatives.