By Gbolahan Olusegun Yishawu
Service is a privilege. For me, the essence of politics is service. Once it is not about the good of the people, the essence is lost. Once it does not offer the opportunity to positively impact lives, there is really no point to it. Perhaps for reasons to do with my professional background in Engineering, I consider precision as key, whatever the venture. Before venturing into the arena of public service, there ought to be clarity of mind and purpose, as political leadership is the ultimate privilege only a few people will get to ever have. I believe that public service is a sacred duty which must only be approached after careful consideration, adequate preparation and a plan for improvement in the quantum and quality of what is being done or how it is being done.
Over the years, I have had the privilege of service as a Legislator, representing the great people of Eti-Osa Constituency 02 in the Lagos State House of Assembly. By the grace of God and the goodwill of the people, the experience has been a fruitful one, with the dividends of our representation evident in the lives of the residents and the constituency. Starting out, in consultation with our people, we designed a service plan built around what has come to be known as the ‘Eti-Osa 02 Agenda’, with emphases one education, job creation and health care. Beyond that is our focus on quality representation, proactive and effective legislation, as well as adequate oversight to ensure that in all things the people come first.
Through the support of the people, deft combination of the tools of legislative activism, direct intervention in community development, as well as empowerment of the people through job-creation initiatives, skills development programmes and support for small businesses and artisans, we have been able to attain different milestones across these sectors, even surpassing the target in some. In the area of legislation, I sponsored or co-sponsored 27 bills, 20 of which are already law. In addition to that, I have also sponsored or co-sponsored 32 motions. However, even with all that we have achieved in the different areas, we know that we could have only done so much, given the enormity of the task at hand.
Our 2023 Agenda is one of consolidation and continuity, anchored on some of the objectives outlined in seven of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our agenda is inspired by Goals 2,3,4,5,6,8 and 9, with the objectives of improving health, education and quality of life in the constituency; reduce inequality; as well as spur innovation, skills development and economic empowerment within the constituency. Our focus shall be on consolidating on our existing programmes, delivering value and advancing the interests of the people of Eti- Osa Constituency 02.
If returned to the house, I will continue to use the instrument of legislation to protect the disadvantaged. I successfully sponsored the private member bill to promote non-smokers from the hazardous effects of smoking in public places, which has now been passed into law. I also proposed the Rape Victim Shield and Civil Liability Bill to protect victims of rape, encourage more effective prosecution of the crime and secure compensation for the victims in civil suits. That was of great input in the framing of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency Law, as subsequently passed.
I will continue to work hard to ensure we use the instrument of legislation to engender a better society. I shall be working with my colleagues to ensure the passage of the Lagos Patient’s Bill of Rights into law. The essence of the “Lagos Patient’s Bill of Rights” is to protect patients from abuse, negligence, over-billing and exposure to malpractices in the Hospitals. It is a protection mechanism designed to ensure the reported cases of abuse in our Hospitals are drastically reduced and the standard of care available to patients is improved upon.
There are also two other bills proposed for the next legislative house: The Lagos State Urban and Regional Data Surveillance Bill, whose objective is to establish the Lagos State Urban and Regional Data Surveillance which will register all buildings used for COMMERCIAL purpose and incentivise the use of close circuit television for the purpose of surveillance, monitoring and facilitating the provision of footages of potential harmful and dangerous occurrence in the building and adjoining public areas within Lagos State for the purpose of security. There is also the Lagos State Research Trust Fund Bill, which seeks to allocate and administer funds to eligible researchers who desire to carry out research work of public interest and development potentially beneficial to Lagos State.
Our objective is to continue to use legislation to enhance the quality of life of the people in different areas. The main thrust of my representation will continue to be the protection of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, while ensuring that the interests of our constituency are secured in line with my philosophy that the people must always come first. All the initiatives in the area of youth and sports development will be ramped up and expanded into more communities.
We shall be consolidating and explaining on all our initiatives in the area of job creation and enterprise development. We will expand our support for the Vocational Skills Development programme to ensure that more of our residents have the benefit of training in the different vocations to enable them set up their own businesses and create jobs through our Enterprise Development Centre, Skills Development Centre and Enterprise Revolving Fund. Of the firm belief that the essence of politics is service, my desire to return to the Lagos State House of Assembly as the representative of the people of Eti-Osa Constituency 02 is to enable me to continue to serve diligently and make greater impact in the lives of the people.
Engineer Gbolahan Olusegun Yishawu is Chairman, Economic Planning and Budget in the Lagos House of Assembly and APC Candidate, Eti-Osa Constituency 02.