Connect with us


I’m A Jovial Man-Hon. Akeem Bello



Jovial man

Hon. Akeem Bello represents Amuwo Odofin II in the Lagos State House of Assembly. A former Minority Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the house, today he is a member of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC), having defected along with five others on Thursday, February 16th. In this interview with Daily Independent’s Lukmon Akintola, he talks about his defection, his concerns as a politician, how he relaxes and more.

Lawmakers always say that the job is challenging, tell us how challenging it can be.

The Lagos House of Assembly is a peaceful house and this is because we have an intelligent leader. We have 20 old members and 20 new members and they have accepted each other. In other climes, it would be had for the old members to accept the new ones in just like that especially when the new members have 12 from the ruling party, APC, and eight from the opposition, PDP. When you have a good leader, there won’t be any problem or war in the house, and that is when you can achieve your goal. It is indeed challenging, but a house with a good leader can help reduce the stress.

Tell us about your experience since becoming a member of the Lagos House of Assembly.

The road was somehow rough when I first got into the Lags House of Assembly. However, along the way, I joined the system and started learning.

Would you say that you have really learnt much since becoming a member of the house?

Well, I thank God. I have been able to garner more experience about the legislature since coming into the house.

The hustle and bustle of the legislature might be easy for a youngman, but for one who is your age it is not easy, how do you cope?

I thank God for the kind of leadership we have in the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly. He is a lovely man; he is a team player who wants everybody including new members who just came on board to have a sense of belonging. He knows more about the legislative functions of the house of assembly and this has helped. He is a team player like I said before and this has helped myself and others who just came on board. He is a man who wants every member to know more about their job, I really love the way he has been going on with the house. I have to give him kudos; he has been in the house for the past 16 years. I took up a responsibility when I decided to represent my people. That responsibility has kept me going. I have the fate of my people with me and I can’t afford to fail them.

Many would remember you as the Minority Leader of the Lagos House of Assembly who dumped his party, what do you say to this?

When I came into the House of Assembly, I came in as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party. However, I loved the way the governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode was trying to transforming Lagos State to a modern city and then a smart city.  You see, the Speaker of the house made most of the new members to feel among in the house. He made us realised that despite being from the opposition party and he being from the ruling party, we had to work together for the betterment of Lagos State. I had no choice, but to join them. If you can’t beat them, you join them. These are some of the things that I saw and made up my mind that we needed to work together.

Is this the only reason why you cross-carpeted?

You have to also understand that I am a man with a big ambition. Then, the way my party played politics also left a lot to imagine. For the past two years, the party has been in disarray, so there was also the need for me to move on and see what other option I had for my career in order for me to have a sense of belonging and be able to plan for the future.

When you say your future are you referring to 2019?


So you have started working already?

You have to start planning early.

Are you proud of your action, dumping your former party?

I am proud to be a member of the ruling party. I have been a proud member of the ruling party since early last year.

How comfortable were you as the minority leader then?

I am sure you know the story. It’s one, which has been around. We were eight in the house, but seven of us changed party to the ruling party. Basically, our ambition to run for another term was what was behind our action. Once you see a leader that is trying to transform your state, you join hands with him and move the state forward to transform the state.

What is your evaluation of the 8th assembly?

The assembly is one of the best in Nigeria. We need to commend the leadership of the assembly because without the leadership, there won’t be a house. He has the knowledge and knows the politics of the house. He has been there for 16 years and that is not child play. I love working with him.

Your table has a lot of award plaque; does this necessarily mean that you are being celebrated for your work?

A lot of people believe that I have done well, hence the awards you see on my table. However, personally, I believe in transforming my constituency. I have been able to embark on series of project in my constituency and ward since I came into the house. I have done several boreholes to provide clean, drinkable water to the people of my constituency. I have also done some lighting projects in my constituency and my ward. My widow empowerment is an annual thing. I recently held one in December, last year. I have also contributed in ways of vocational centers; I have also ensured that students have a computer school that they can go to when they are on holiday instead of just being at home. The idea is for them to have adequate computer knowledge. I have also renovated several churches and mosques in my constituency. When you are a politician, you need to support those who voted you into power by giving them the dividends of democracy, so that when the time comes for you to return to office, they will give you their massive support.

Is that the idea here?

Definitely, they put me here and they should enjoy the dividends of their representative in office. As such, I am telling them that I am still their good leader. I am also advising them to remain calm because more awaits them in 2019. What we cannot achieve now, we will achieve in 2019.

How popular are you in your constituency?

I can tell you that out of 100 per cent of the churches and mosques in my constituency, I have 80 per cent of them.

You have them?


How do you have them?

I always make sure that I worship with most of the churches with the biggest population in my constituency. When it is time for their church harvest, I make sure that I am one of their Chairmen in the harvest committee.

Do you balance it with the Muslims?

I do the same thing. Every Muslim festival, I always make sure that I observe the prayers with them. If they want my support, I try to be there for them too.

How do you fancy your chances in 2019?

It is God that has all chances. However, I have the strong believe that I will be elected again in 2019.

The PDP is trying to put its house in order; do you think that they can still bounce back?

There is the need to know that it is not easy to defeat an incumbent. Once the ruling party is in office, you cannot defeat them. You heard Olabode George saying that PDP is finished in Lagos. That is the confirmation of their failure. If a leader can say the party is finished in Lagos State, it means that they have buried the party.

Can the party be revived?

The only way a party like that can ever comeback is if they change the name. Unless they change the name, it is dead.

On a lighter note, where does your sense of fashion come from?

No one can take claim for being responsible for my fashion. It comes from God.

How do you relax?

Well, I am a jovial man. I am very jovial. The good side of me is when you see me in the evening, when I get to my area. When I see my guys drinking, I drink with them. I take one or two bottles and I go to my house. If they are eating, I eat with them. I am always with them on Saturdays and Sundays. I sit with them and hear their needs, what we need to fix in the constituency, their challenges. I enjoy spending time with them so that we can better our lot.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Polaris Bank AD




Copyright © 2024, February13 Media