This is a follow-up to the previous interview I had with Hon. Yahya Adeniyi Dosunmu. A former house of representative member whose impact in Lagos politics has left indelible prints in Eti Osa, the constituency he once represented.
In this article, the revered statesman explained the struggle they went through before the Alhaji Kayode Jakande administration (fondly called ‘Action Governor’) eventually cast away the burden of Eti Osa people and blessed them with a dual carriage road.
“When God wants to use you, he will always create a way. I have never regretted since then. When people say politicians are dirty, I used to tell them it wasn’t the kind of politics we played. At least, we thank God that our efforts after getting into office wasn’t in vain. We succeeded in turning this place (Eti-Osa) into a cosmopolitan area.
“Seriously, I wish you know this place from 1977 to 1980. It was more of a jungle area. In fact, at one point, I started wearing rain boot to the Lagos State House of Assembly. The speaker then would warn against defiling the chamber. Sometimes, the sergeant-at-arm would be placed on alert to stop me from coming into the House with the boots. It was apparent that my picture would adorn the pages of newspapers whether it was Punch or Concord with screaming headlines like “Speaker Bars Hon Dosunmu From Entering Chamber Over Rainboot!” the very next day.
“Whether controversial or not, that was where my popularity started – protesting against my own government over roads. The motion I moved in the House must be more than 10. There was a day I was invited through an official letter to appear before Governor Jakande at the oval house. He was the one who informed me that as a member of the technical committee, he deemed it fit to inform me that they have started working on our road.
“To further show how serious the government was about giving Eti-Osa a quality road, the job was contracted to Julius Berger. That was how we started opening up the various communities under Eti-Osa with dual carriages without even erecting toll gates. Today, the rest is history.
The Action Governor
“That is why Jakande will always be credited and referenced as the governor who transformed bushes into homes and dunghill into a market square. Where Chevron occupies today was a deep swamp. No human can pass that place and survive without the use of a boat. Even at that, you would be required to carry your clothes and personal belongings on your head. That has been the case. But we thank God for using Alhaji Jakande to open up this place. And ever since he opened up the roads, there has been increase in schools (both primary and secondary), health services, development, commerce and industry, housing estates and many other things.
“From there, life became easier for the people. Can you now see why I said earlier that I didn’t regret becoming a politician?” he quipped.
Interestingly, the action governor has also been credited with constructing, rehabilitating and resurfacing Epe/Ijebu-Ode Road, Oba Akran Avenue, Toyin Street, Town Planning Way, Alimosho-Idimu-Egbe Road, Idimu-Iba-LASU Road, the new secretariat road and several others.
* His government built the current Lagos State Secretariat which houses all the state ministries as well as the popular round house hitherto occupied by all subsequent governors of the state.
* His government built the Lagos State House of Assembly complex.
* His government built the Lagos State Television.
* His government built the Lagos Radio.
* His government built Lagos State University.
* His government established General Hospital in zones all over the state with assurance of free health care.
* His government established Teacher Training College and the College of Education.
* His government built low cost houses in Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Amuwo-Odofin, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry, Isheri/Olowu, Orisigun etc.
* His government established the Water Management Board and Waste Disposal Board on the 18th of August, 1980.
* His government constructed the Adiyan Water Works to increase water supply in the state to 18.16 million litres per day.
* His government modernized and expanded the Iju Water Works which was first commissioned in 1915. This increased daily capacity from 159 million to 204 million litres per day.
* His government purchased and commissioned the giant car crusher equipment. The equipment was designed specifically to crush derelict vehicles in Lagos State. It had the capacity to crush 45 vehicles per day.
* His government constructed Victoria Island/Epe Road and thereby creating an ‘oil rig’ for Lagos State.
* His government established Asphalt Plant for the Department of Public Works.
* His government established Electricity Board for Rural Electrification with provision of street lights.
* His government modernized, expanded and commissioned Onikan Stadium in 1982.* His government established a singular school system and ensured genuine free education in Lagos State and the beneficiaries of this policy are in different positions of eminence in the country and around the world.
* His government raised the primary schools in Lagos State to 812 with 533,001 pupils (against 605 primary schools with 434,545 pupils he met in 1979) and secondary schools to 223 with 167,629 students (against 105 schools with 107,835 students in 1979).* His government constructed 11, 729 classrooms with the maximum of 40 children per class between March and August 1980, by 1983, he had constructed over 22,000 classrooms.* In July 1983, two commercial passenger boats christened “Baba Kekere and Itafaji” to run the Mile 2 – Marina (CMS) route via the lagoons were inaugurated by his government to mark the official launch of the Lagos State ferry services.