TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY SENATOR OLUREMI TINUBU, OON, AT THE 14TH TOWN HALL MEETING WITH CONSTITUENTS OF LAGOS CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT HELD ON MARCH 18, 2015, AT SHELL HALL, MUSON CENTRE, LAGOS
Coming at a time when elections are upon us, this Town Hall meeting tagged “Treading the Path to Prosperity” pays tribute to the journey that began in 2011 when I was elected into the Senate as your representative and the first quarterly Town Hall meeting was birthed on 19th December 2011.
The Town Hall meeting was introduced as a feedback process and mechanism for accountability and responsibility to the constituents that produced me at the Senate Chamber. The meeting has so far, afforded us the chance of brainstorming and evaluating the needs of our people. It has also showcased our successes and milestones, which could not have been possible without you, the people. I must quickly also thank God the sustainer and giver of life for helping us thus far.
The Holy Book tells us that better is the end of a thing than the beginning. I am glad that at the end of the Seventh Assembly, we can return a verdict that we recorded many landmark successes and achievements in this district, working together with you as our partners in progress.
Our Town Hall meetings have been a celebration of democracy – the government of the people, by the people and for the people and of feats that can be achieved if governance is brought to the grassroots and if transparency and accountability to the electorate is made a watchword by those who lead.
Before I progress further, let me thank you all for your consistent support and positive feedbacks with which you have encouraged us even as I go down memory lane highlighting the various Town Hall meetings we have had in the past as follows:
- Town Hall Meeting of December 19, 2011 tagged “Stewardship of Hope”.
- Town Hall Meeting of March 9, 2012 tagged “Hands on the Plough”
- Town Hall Meeting of June 12, 2012 tagged “Confronting our Challenges,
Staying the Course”
- Town Hall Meeting of September 26, 2012 tagged “Collective Responsibility: The
Catalyst for Development”
- Town Hall Meeting of December 11, 2012 tagged “The Elderly Our Societal
- Town Hall Meeting of March 18, 2013 tagged “Rekindling Hope”
- Town Hall Meeting of June 14, 2013 tagged “Making The Sacrifice For
- Town Hall Meeting of September 27, 2013 tagged “Working Together To Create
- Town Hall Meeting of December 18, 2013 tagged “Helping Our Elderly Citizens Age
Gracefully In These Challenging Times”
- Town Hall Meeting of March 7, 2014 tagged “Consolidating Our Democratic
- Town Hall Meeting of June 11, 2014 tagged “Towards A Better Future”
- Town Hall Meeting of September 12, 2014 tagged “Staying Engaged In A
Challenging Democratic Environment”
- Town Hall Meeting of December 10, 2014 tagged “The Elderly In The Eyes Of
The themes that have dominated our various Town Hall meetings have been centred on hope, development and the need to work together.
At each Town Hall meeting, we have had programmes and constituency initiatives that were designed to make a difference in the lives of Constituents and ultimately this has culminated into the path of prosperity. Constituency initiatives launched at each edition of our Town Hall Meetings include “grant of scholarships and bursaries, recapitalization and empowerment schemes, provision of financial assistance for senior citizens, widows, and those at the crossroads of life as well as skills acquisition”. I also endeavoured to give updates of activities at the Senate at each quarter. A compilation of past editions of our Town Hall Meetings have been made into a publication titled “Stewardship Report: A Collection of Town Hall Speeches (2011-2014)” that would be made available to our Constituents as a reference material at today’s event.
In the days ahead, if I am re-elected, I intend to continue on the path that we have chosen to walk through knowing it leads to nation building. I intend to take on matters relating to youth, public health, widows, prohibition of violence and the environment. I will sustain empowerment schemes such as the Petty Traders Empowerment Capital Scheme (PETECS), Elderly Citizens Assistance Scheme (ECAS), Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Scheme (YESAS), Good Boys and Girls Empowerment Scheme (GBGES), Widows Economic Empowerment Scheme (WEES), and Distribution of GCE forms as well as sponsorship of the Muniru Muse under 15 football competitions for boys and girls. However, the Post – Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (PSSS) would be discontinued and scholarships would be awarded only to deserving students. Town Hall meetings will also be sustained.
Dear Constituents, I am convinced that by your presence at this event you intend to preserve the gains that we have recorded in this district even as we face the future. As elections draw close, I urge us to be resolute in the choice of our leaders. The future is not about me but it is about our children and the legacies we want to bequeath to them. If you believe in a better Nigeria, if you believe in a transparent and accountable government, if you believe in prosperity for all, I invite you to join me and our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to work for a better Nigeria.
The past 16 years of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rule has reduced the nation to a state of anarchy while in the news there are constant reports of horrendous killings and kidnappings. The economy is weakening due to overdependence on oil and excessive importation. Power generation has become a myth, while poor electricity supply and hike in electricity tariffs is threatening the manufacturing sector. Although the Nigerian economy is projected as the largest in Africa, this has not translated into visible wealth per household or jobs for our teeming youth.
There is a progressive failure in Nigeria under the watch of the ruling PDP. In the failed state index of 2013 conducted by Fund for Peace, Nigeria was ranked as the 16th failed state out of 177 countries surveyed. The survey listed Nigeria after countries like Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Iraq. The indicators that were used in ranking include, massive movement of refuges and internally displaced persons (IDPs), vengeance seeking group grievance, chronic and sustained human flight, uneven economic development, progressive deterioration of public services, violation of human rights and rule of law, security apparatus and intervention of external actors. With these indicators, there should be no mind left in doubt that Nigeria is a failed state.
However, our nation can still rise above the failure of the times and above the doldrums. Bishop T.D Jakes once stated, “Failure is something that brings about change. Change is hard, and failure is the womb for success. It is a time for creativity.”
Our creative ideas and collective desire for change has birthed All Progressives Congress (APC). Our party the APC is aware of the need for change and for creativity in governance if we must reverse the tide and restore our economic fortunes. The Asian Tigers and even our own closest neighbour Ghana have all overcome similar challenges. Ghana today remains a stable democratic country and a leading light for many other countries in Africa. With our party winning at all levels of governance we can promote wide spread prosperity and achieve our developmental goals.
On my part, I promise to live up to the bidding of restoring our country to its former glory. I urge everyone able to vote, to vote wisely, vote restoration, vote prosperity, and vote APC for a better Nigeria. It is the duty we owe our conscience as progressives.
God bless APC!
May God bless Lagos Central Senatorial District!
God bless Lagos State!
God bless Nigeria!
Eko o’ ni baje o!