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Boko Haram Is About 2015 —Oyo Assembly Deputy Majority Leader
Honourable Kehinde Subair, the Deputy Majority Leader, Oyo State House of Assembly, speaks with BOLA BADMUS on the incessant flooding in the state, Boko Haram and other issues. Excerpts:
The state government sacked 3,000 workers recently and the House took up the matter. What intervention has the House made so far?
The issue of these sacked workers had been on before the inception of this seventh assembly. The past administration in the state addressed the issue through a consultant and concluded on it. One thing we must know is that the law frowns on falsification of certificates, even if the security people see you with a falsified certificate, you will pay for it. So, what the government did was to sack all the people that falsified their certificates, give compulsory retirement to those that falsified their ages and sack those that were found to have embezzled government funds. As lawmakers, our intervention came as a result of cries and uproar generated in the public by the time letters were issued to the affected workers.
What is the House doing on the matter?
The committee of the House invited the committee headed by the Head of Service and they came and explained everything, and even told us that the governor was prepared to set up another committee to look into the cases of the affected workers with a view to giving them fair hearing.
Also, the committee of the House invited all the sacked workers. In all fairness, it is only the issue that affected the teachers among them that we can give consideration to. We cannot help those having problems with their certificates. For instance, how would you handle the case of somebody who said he found a certificate on the floor of his office with his name imprint on it? The question we put to him was: What did you do with such certificate when you knew it was not yours? He now said he put it in his drawer in the office. The next question was: How did the certificate get to your file during a screening exercise? He said he was on leave by that time, but that a colleague went into his drawer, got the certificate and put it into his file for the exercise.
One thing we must realise is that if we want to bring sanity to the Assembly, we must be ready to step on toes. We should not say we are seeking another term in office and thereby encourage people with forged certificates to remain in service. We should not harbour such people because we think they would vote for us.
On the issue of falsified ages, how can you have somebody who said he started his primary education at the age of two and finished at seven? That is the kind of story they are telling us here.
Following flood disaster, the governor promised to demolish structures blocking the waterway but some say the governor has not kept his words. What happened?
Everything has to follow due process. By the time the governor had asked the concerned agency to mark structures that were blocking the waterway, the agency did so. Were the demolition to be effected the second day, there would not have been any problem, but after many days, the affected people gathered themselves together to oppose the move by going to court to stop the government from carrying out such exercise. What the government now resorted to was to start dredging the waterways so that they would be expanded.
Boko Haram menace has continued to defy solution, as a lawmaker what is your view on it?
I think the Boko Haram problem is political. The reason is that in 1993 when they annulled the election of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, there were agitations from the South-West zone. The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) came out, and crises erupted and many people lost their lives in the process. By the time the presidency was zoned to the South-West and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became president, the agitations from OPC fizzled out. By the time late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua became president, what happened? The Niger-Delta people started their own agitations and the activities of the various groups in the region, disrupted businesses in the oil-rich region while several people also lost their lives with properties worth billions of naira destroyed. Their activities were just limited to that region. By the time Yar’Adua died and President Goodluck Jonathan came on board, did you ever hear anything about the Niger-Delta agitations again? Now, it is the turn of Boko Haram. Who is in power and who is agitating to be in government or power now? The Northerners. What are they going to do to get there? To the best of my knowledge, that is the reason we are having Boko Haram. If Jonathan should tell Nigerians now that he had promised to spend only one term and come 2015, he would leave office, you would not hear anything like Boko Haram again. What I know is that if Jonathan comes out to contest the 2015 presidential poll, that could be the end of PDP, because the North could go for another party platform.