In a country where more or less it’s a two party system, the chances of other parties are always very slim. Shamsideen Olasunkanmi Adedoyin Kasumu is vying on the ticket of the African Action Congress ( AAC) to represent Ikorodu Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly. In this interview with Efosa Taiwo, he speaks of his chances at the coming poll
Who is SOA Kasumu? You seem not to be a household name in Politics. Let us in into your person and political records.
I am Shamsideen Olasunkanmi Adedoyin Kasumu. Born in Lagos, and resident of Ikorodu for over 21 years. I am based in Ibeshe under Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA.
I am a chartered accountant, FCA and CEO of Deeno Consulting also based in Ikorodu. I am an ex-banker and also an alumnus of Deloitte, the leading accountancy and consulting firm in the world. I had been a Students’ Union activist and politician along with Omoyele Sowore in UNILAG, and I am now vying for a seat at the Lagos House of Assembly, Ikorodu Constituency 2 comprising of Igbogbo, Baiyeku, Imota, Ijede and Ibeshe.
African Action Congress (AAC) resonates with my philosophy and ideological lineage.
What are your philosophy and ideological lineage?
I believe in social welfare and true federalism, including total and selfless service to humanity plus a zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt practices. Also, I naturally cannot withstand social injustice and the oppression of the weak and vulnerable in the society.
Do you think you stand a chance against the major parties in the constituency?
I think I stand a very good chance to defeat the incumbent who is most likely running for a third term with little achievements to show for it.
This time around, I strongly believe the votes would be personality and mission-based rather than via political affiliation. My underground campaign and research indicate that my manifesto is most widely applauded amongst the voting population of my constituency. My agenda is specific, problem-solving focused and very executable.
Moreover, I am based in Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA, with the largest voting population of my constituency. Out of the 224 polling units in my constituency 2,(according to INEC website),my stronghold has 133 polling units. I intend to capitalise on my strengths whilst deploying the right strategies and resources to mitigate or reverse my weaknesses.
My major contender, the incumbent, is based in Imota, with the least voting population and polling unit – 43
Talking about capitalising on your strength, what have you done so far as regards this?
I shall not be revealing my political strategy, but I can assure you of effective and efficient campaign methodologies. For now we are at the underground work mode.
There must be a drive towards you contesting. Why are you contesting?
Naturally, I love service to humanity and providing solutions to immediate and remote societal challenges. At a very young age of 16, I was already involved in university politics at UNILAG. Then, I was popularly known as “OLAKAS”.
I then later became the president of Unilag Science Students’ Association for a record two consecutive terms. I am problem-solving oriented and I think, I had done very well in this regard. I had chosen to revitalise my political career and service to humanity, starting from my immediate constituency.
I have identified the major challenges facing my immediate constituency and I believe I have the best agenda so far in providing the solutions.
Talking about problem-solving, Ikorodu has quite a number. Which should the people expect you to solve if they give you their votes?
As a lawmaker, I would first mention those relating to law making. Corruption is one of the bedrocks of underdevelopment in any society. I shall sponsor a bill for an unpardonable life jail sentence against stealing of public funds. The incentives for corruption are so much whilst the sanctions are not strong enough. If you look at other saner climes, the technology and sanctions against corruption are almost foolproof.
Even though you cannot completely eliminate corruption in any society, the preventive mechanisms and sanctions should be strong enough to reduce corruption to the nearest tolerable level.
Secondly, I shall be sponsoring a bill for free tertiary education for Lagos residents.
Most of our youths who are university students engage in all sorts of vices, including Yahoo Yahoo and so on to fund their education. It is a very big fallacy to say that tertiary education is not meant for every one. But is it meant for only the rich? Skills acquisition is also good but is it meant for only the poor? Why can’t the poor combine skills acquisition with tertiary education?
Thirdly, I shall be sponsoring a bill for motor parks reform. The Agbero menace does not befit a mega city like Lagos. The bill shall seek to eliminate this. For constituency and lobby projects, I shall aggressively lobby the executive to ensure that we have a fly-over at Ogolonto junction to ease the traffic situation. I shall also strive to ensure that Ikorodu has a second general hospital to be located in constituency 2.
The current situation at the only general hospital we have is quite appalling. The population of Ikorodu cannot justify only one general hospital.
I shall also strive to ensure the construction and completion of inner roads and drainages. I also intend to ensure that many residents of Ikorodu benefit from business grants and scholarships.
A modular solar power system is also a plausibility for the benefit of my constituency.
These are basically my first term agenda. Community feedback and exigencies will shape my second term agenda.
You mentioned roads, quite all right. But I noticed you didn’t mention security, especially knowing security is one of the banes facing Ikorodu.
Although it is not a direct responsibility of a lawmaker, I believe my proposed bills would go a long way in addressing the immediate and remote causes of insecurity. I shall also be supporting any proposed bill that could enhance security. Most of our youths engage in criminality because of lack of funds for business or education, and also because our common patrimony is being embezzled by heartless leaders. Cultism is not an exception.
You are full of confidence towards the election and not even the incumbent can stop you. I will like to know if there is any obstacle you see that will pose a challenge to your quest?
The only obstacle would be vote buying and election rigging. But I believe we are ready to mitigate against them. I also believe strongly in the resolve and the will of the people to effect revolutionary change this time around.
When you say mitigate against them, be specific.
Mitigation against vote buying and election rigging.
How do you plan to mitigate against them?
That should be a guarded secret. (Laughs)
Lastly, any message to the Ikorodu residents, especially those in your constituency as we inch closer to the election?
They should please get their PVC to vote for Hon. SOA Kasumu, the problem-solver for Ikorodu Constituency 2. They would be voting for trust and accountability cum selfless service and effective representation at the Lagos House of Assembly. Vote for AAC (African Action Congress). We have to take back our society from failed leaders.
Life jail for the thieves .
You have my vote.
I love your proposal and I strongly believe if there’s no vote buying and rigging, AAC is the dream come true.