In this interview with Udora Orizu, a House of Representatives member-elect from Mushin Federal Constituency 2, Hon. Toyin Fayinka, speaks on the controversy trailing the zoning of 10th national assembly leadership positions, among other salient issues. Excerpts:
As a newly elected lawmaker what are you plans for your people in Mushin?
My plans for the people of Mushin federal constituency is to make myself available to them, as much as I can, to interact with them as much as I can without disturbing the primary objectives of sending me to the House. In as much I will like to do the duty they have sent me here to do but I will not allow that one to disturb or to rob them of the opportunity to be accessible to them as much as I can.
Secondly, I intend to ask them of what they desire, I have interacted with them in the cause of my election campaign and some of the communities have told me they want a primary school so that the children will not be crossing express before going to school and I will like to make sure that one comes to pass.
Also, I will try as much as possible to bring it infrastructure to them, some of the roads are bad and the little ones we can do I will make sure I work assiduously to make that one happen.
Also there are some laws that need to be amended, new ones need to be introduced. By the grace of God I will pursue it rigorously and religiously too so that everything will fall in line.
So these are some of the things I would love to do for the people of Mushin federal constituency.
As a first timer do you understand how the parliament works, are you ready for legislative business?
I’m not scared, how it works is a function of me to participate in the affairs and the proceedings of the House, it doesn’t take time.
I have four years to serve in the first instance and by the grace of God as time goes on, I will understand the rudiments of it all. So, no problem about that, I am not scared.
What are your thoughts on the zoning arrangements by your party?
I do not have control over that, so far so good there is no provisions or there is no place for it in the law of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended. Meaning that everyone of us and in particular myself are here courtesy of one party APC so I am bound to listen to them. So, I will abide by the zoning arrangement and I will work towards achieving the purpose of the zoning by my party, the APC.
Some of your colleagues are sad and they are planning to oppose the party’s consensus candidates, what are your thoughts about that?
Thank you very much for that, there is no issue here because we are all matured and then we know what is good for ourselves and at the end of the day honestly we are going to tow the path of honour, and that is one thing about APC. They have said this is where we are zoning to and it’s still an advise, they have not handcuffed any one, they have not sealed anybody’s mouth, they have not foreclosed anybody from coming out to exercise his or her own right but at the end of the day, majority will carry the day.
You will see many people are still coming out to contest for the leadership positions and that is the beauty of democracy, give it to APC, nobody has come out to issue any threat to anybody.
Consultation is ongoing, I trust the party they will do the needful, should in case you refuse as an individual not to tow the line of the party. Everybody is eminently qualified to be speaker, to be senate president to be deputy speaker and all that but at the end of the day majority carries the vote.
Do you think it’s fair giving two leadership slots to Northwest?
Well, unfortunately I was not invited to where the zoning arrangement was done, unfortunately too I have not been able to read the minds of those eminent party men and women that sat to give us zoning formula.
And fortunately for me I want to believe that their best of judgement was right at a particular point in time and it shall subsist, so giving it to a particular zone is a function of their beliefs which I will not sit down here and be probing or to now be interrogating them, so nothing in life is equal including one’s life. Only God almighty does things equally.
If you as a journalist is given four pieces of meat to be given to five people, you need to cut some, to add some you cannot do it evenly, that is human beings for you.
So I wouldn’t know their intention but I will not sit down here and be querying them.
The north central aspirants believe their region is marginalized, what do you have to say about that and what advice do you have for them?
Well, the north central is right to complain like every other zone, honestly if you are blaming north central for complaining what about other regions that have gotten one or two things but they still want more. So north central is trying to complain, but they have been so civil, they have been so matured and calm in the pursuit of their anger so I give it to them, but like I said only God does things equally.
Let’s move on to 2023 general poll, the presidential election, do you believe it was free and fair?
Honestly it was free and fair. Honestly if you are saying it is not free and fair come up with your own side of argument. So I will want to know where you are coming from, how did you arrive at saying it is not free and fair, in Nigeria we seem to forget things easily
This year’s general election can you compare it with that of previous years? Infact the electoral act has opened many people’s eyes and the inclusiveness is massive this time around so you are expecting that people will agitate the more, if you open a room and you keep 20 people in there you open another room and keep five people there, it is expected that the kind of noise in the room you keep the 20 people will be massive than that of five people.
So the 2022 electoral act has actually open many peoples eyes, so if you are saying it is not fair, presidential election was conducted, house of representatives election was conducted, senate election was conducted and you are saying house of representatives election was conducted the same way with the same style and you are okay with result of house of representatives, senate but you are not okay with the results of presidential election. Then you need to go and ask that person what he is talking about? To me, it’s free and fair except you want to be specific and I will be able to answer you better.
But PDP and Labour party candidates and their supporters believe it was rigged?
They are entitled to their own believe, but where they won it was free and fair but where they lost it was not free and fair. Can you now see how we reason in this part of the world, Labor party won in Lagos, if APC had wanted to rig election Lagos state, it would have been the best state for them to do it, but Labor party won and nobody is crying, look at southeast, so that election was free and fair where they won, but where they did not win it was not free and fair, I don’t know what to say to that but they are eminently entitled to their opinion.
There are concerns that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is not fit to rule. What do you have to say about that, what do you think of the new administration?
Unless you tell me the meaning or your mindset about not being fit, what do you mean? Are you a medical doctor? Are you an essential duty officer? Honestly, I don’t know how we reason, we have heard of a situation whereby a one year old baby died of malaria while a 70 year-old man survived same malaria.
Okay so what are we talking about? Let’s keep hatred out of it if you hate him let us know you hate him.
I’m not a medical doctor I am very sure majority of these people that are crying out of hatred are not medical doctors so except they come up with a specific if they are medical doctors let us know that this is Bola Tinubu’s medical history and then a particular doctor has certified him not fit.
Tinubu was not fit and yet he went on campaign to the 36 states of the federation including Abuja not once, not twice and non stop, some people in between broke the campaign arrangements to go and rest, so who is fit and who is not fit?
Stop playing God, only God is the owner of your health and my health. Death globally knows no age and status why are we so concerned about running someone down.
To me, Tinubu is as fit as a fiddle.
So how do you envisage Nigeria under Tinubu’s administration?
Nigeria is going to be much more better, and all those people fanning the ember of disunity are going to be disappointed and all of us will have cause to thank God.
Tinubu is going to perform very well, I want to say in this instance with reference to what he did while he was the governor of Lagos state he will perform wonders.
Ironically, a larger percentage of people that are complaining Lagos is not working are not leaving Lagos, they can only go back to their villages, if Lagos is not working and you work in Lagos, you live in Lagos yet you cannot go back to your village, is that not the height of hypocrisy, if Lagos state is not working, you live, you sleep, you eat in Lagos then why wouldn’t you go to where it works.
To me, Lagos state is working to the extent of its ability and capability. The infrastructure in Lagos state is overstretched yet the template laid by Tinubu is being followed and worked upon by Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
You can only pray for him to do better.
Let me give you an analogy, if I am complaining that my father has a bungalow and I am okay, can I go to your house where you have a storey building, then complain that your house is not beautiful, can I compare your house to my own?
Based on what he did in Lagos and the template he left we have forgotten so easily, when Tinubu assumed office as governor of Lagos state hardly will you see any part of the state without seeing a hip of refuse but under four years that thing became a thing of the past. So based on what he has done in Lagos Tinubu will bring that experience to bear on Nigeria.
The 10th assembly is believed to be the most diverse given the number of opposition parties and the newcomers. What is your view of this incoming 10th assembly?
This is a testament to the fact that 2023 election is free and fair, we have seen governors losing their re-election bids, we have seen governors losing in senatorial election bids, we have seen house of representatives losing their reelection bids.
It has not happened like this before yet some people will sit down in the comfort of their home and now be saying election was not free and fair, how do you want it to be free and fair, people losing their seat because you can not rig.
This thing is very clear if you have your evidence that it was rigged in your own area come up with it for all to see.
So this 10th assembly is diverse, fantastic and definitely everyone of us will have to sit down not to allow what happened to people we are taking over from to be repeated.
So all hands will be on deck, I’m very sure this 10th assembly will work harder to make a lot of differences.
Outside the template already established by the 9th assembly, 10th assembly will work on it, if we are not planning to do more.