Honourable Abayomi Dauda Kako-Are is the member representing Mushin 1 Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. In the Eighth Assembly, he will be representing his people for the third time.
In a remarkable encounter at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the popular politician spoke on why he is at the heart of his constituency, his determination to offer quality and credible representation and initiatives to touch the lives of his constituents. Excerpts.
Can we meet you please?
My name is Abayomi Dauda KakoAre. I am the member representing Mushin 1 Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. By God’s grace, this is my second term, and I have been re-elected to represent this same constituency, Mushin 1, from June 2015. I am an Accounting graduate of the University of Lagos. I am married with children. I have been a politician for more than 27 years.
You are a former member of APC, why did you defect to Accord Party?
Yes. Up till April last year, I was a member of the APC. During the ward congresses, we had disagreement. There was supposed to be an election for the ward congresses but it was scattered. Thugs were brought in and it was inconclusive. Later the party received a selection of names from the ward congresses. We protested it but the party stood by the names and we felt there is no need to stay with that. Because internal democracy is found wanting in the party and that is what we have been clamoring for and since that one is not guaranteed we felt we should just leave the party. We do not want to be associated with a party where there is no internal democracy.
You are the only Accord Party member in the House of Representatives, how are you going to cope?
Once the election is over we are one big family in the House of Representatives, we know each other and most of the interactions are not really based on party lines. The big fight will always be between the two big parties and if it is based on principle, I will align myself with one. I am not a stranger to the politics of the National Assembly.
If one is committed to serving the people as Bob Marley will say “when there is a will there is a way”.
In Lagos state, APC is holding all aces, but your people stood strongly with you, what is the reason behind this?
Well, with all due respect that question will be much better answered by them. But let me just say, most of us politicians must have our track records. Majority of those of us in the elective positions, the constituents know us. Some of us we have been in the same area for as long as 20-25 years so they know us. They know the person and I want to believe that is why they stood by me is because they know Dauda Kako Are. They have voted for me countless times and they believe they can trust me. That election is not party based it is strictly individual.
One of the remarkable things about you is the provision of buses for students how are you managing considering the financial implication of a place like Lagos?
If one is committed to serving the people as Bob Marley will say “when there is a will there is a way”. The issue of school bus had started long before I came into politics. It is about 23 years old. It started just being your brother’s keeper. I stay in Onipanu, I have a bus that I used to get to my office then. I had some of my cousins staying with me and I used to drop them in school and send the bus back in the afternoon to pick them. So the neighbors going to the same school often joined and that was how the school bus started and when I had the opportunity of being a public officer naturally you want to continue because so many people that saw me doing those things back then said that if I were a politician I would do better and thank God. The whole thing started from being your brother’s keeper.
As to the actual management of the bus, just like any other businesses, you have to stay on top of it. Even when I am in Abuja, in the morning I call them and I talk to them, any problem we have is discussed , in the afternoon if there is any major issue we discuss it and when they pack around 3 O’clock we talk. I have people, I have managers, I have supervisors, I have conductors, and we have a yard where we can carry out repairs. So managing it, yes, problematic, money wise, yes but we thank God.
In terms of credible representation, what are you offering your constituents in this term?
The Yoruba will say, “If they say well done they want you to do more”. They have told us we have done well and we have taken it as a challenge that we have to do more and we are seriously planning to do more. What we hope to do is to expand our areas of operation. All together we have about 12 buses, it is not enough and we hope to expand that one. Things we have been doing for instance during the holidays and weekends we give the students free lessons. Every weekend we used to distribute fuel to churches and mosques because of this electricity issue and we have not covered about 70 percent and we hope to cover all the churches and mosques in my constituency this time around. We just keep improving on the things we have been doing.
Where do you want to see Nigeria as a country in the next four years?
So many people have called me to congratulate me and I have had so many interviews too. What it points to is that we have to perform. I want to say in the next four years Nigeria would be a better place to live. You see with my own election it shows that people really appreciate democratic dividends and I am sure a lot of legislators will want to do more. Nigerians should expect a lot of democratic dividends at least from legislators and government. So in the next four years I expect Nigeria to be in a better position.
I align myself with the President elect, General Buhari because I know he is going to change a lot of things and if he can lead the way so many of us will want to follow it. I am sure in the next four years you can go to town and tell people that Nigeria will be better.