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Bunmi Tunji Ojo: The Uncommon Representation
“May we live in interesting times”, is a popular saying in the United States of America. The statement, which is claimed to be of Chinese origin, has profound implication for many societies. For people of Akoko North-East and Akoko North-West Local Government Areas of Ondo State, it appears interesting time is here.
For the first time since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, the people are witnessing robust representation at the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives.
But who is bringing this uncommon represention and robust development to Akoko North-East and West Constituency? He is Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo, popularly referred to as BTO.
Since 1999 that the people of the area have been voting to send someone to Abuja to represent them at the lower chamber of the National Assembly, they have never had it so good.
The first person to represent the constituency in 1999 was Honourable Busari, who was followed by Honourable (Prince) Adeyemi in 2003. The next was Honourable Gbenga Otolorin Elegbeleye, who was at the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. Honourable Gani Dauda’s turn came in 2011, before Honourable Stephen Olemija succeeded him at the green chamber of the National Assembly in 2015.
The man occupying the seat now is Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo, who was elected under the flagship of the All Progressives Congress, APC. After five legislative cycles, the constituency is just enjoying the best of representation.
A critical look at the list of those who had at one time or the other occupied the seat, shows that Honourable Ojo is the youngest among all of them. Yet, it could also be said that in terms of engendering good governance and attracting more developments, the two local Government areas that make up the constituency just started enjoying dividends of democracy and good representation with BTO on board.
Before his emergence as the member representing Akoko North-East and West Constituency, many of the roads in the two local government areas were in deplorable and terrible condition. The roads were simply nothing to reckon with. But the coming of Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo has changed the fortune of the roads. He is using his good office as the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to put the roads in good condition. Most of these hitherto bad roads have been repaired, rehabilitated or reconstructed, with good drainage system provided. It is worthy of mentioning that these roads are not only local government and state roads, some are even federal roads.
It terms of rural electrification, Honourable Ojo is also making impact. He donated a 500 KVA transformer to Ilepa Street, which was located at the NTA junction in Ikare-Akoko. This area is where the residence of the former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Gbenga Otolorin Elegbeleye is located, as well as a former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Taofeeq Abdulsalam. According to Honourable Ojo, more of such gestures are coming.
One major project that is dear to the people of Akoko is the Awara Water Project. It is a project that holds many promises for the people, but it’s yet to operate at optimum capacity because it has not been completed. But there is hope in the horizon, as BTO is seeking a lifeline for the Awara Water Project. He has promised to bring national attention to the project, vowing that very soon, people of the two local government areas will begin to enjoy potable water, just like the old times, when children usually go to taps on the streets to drink water with their hands after school hours.
Another major one is the road network in Ikare-Akoko, the commercial nerve centre of the whole of Akoko land. In the past, the ancient town has only one road, leading from Akure, through Akungba-Akoko. But Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo has changed the narrative. He ensured that Ikare town can now boast of two roads. There is one that links the check point in Oke-Igbege, down to Oyinmo, Ode-Iyare, Okoja to Olukare’s palace. This road serves as a short route to some parts of the town, unlike before that people have to take Oke-Igbegede, which is a long journey.
Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo has also brought his vision to bear on employment opportunities for the teeming youths of Akoko. He has facilitated employment for some people at the NDDC and many Federal Government agencies. Apart from this, he has over 200 aides working for him. The amount of money he spent on the salaries of these aides alone is almost 9 million naira every month.
With all these, many of his constituents are saying the excellent job Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo has done in less than a year in office, is far greater than what many lawmkers did after four years in office.
After laying this solid foundation for an eventful tenure, Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo said more are still coming for the people of the two local government areas. He says youth and women empowerment will take priority in his plans. This will be followed by robust agriculture programme, micro-credit facilities, free healthcare programme, free distribution of NECO, WAEC and JAMB forms to students.
For many people, Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo is a shinning star in Akoko, sent by God to bring succour to their land. He has never stopped telling anyone how he wants the two local government areas in his constituency to become the first to be reckoned with in Ondo State and in Nigeria at large.
For the first time since 1999, the people believe that BTO is the best representative that they have had, out of the many thay have sent to represent them at the House of Representatives in Abuja.
This itself is a burden on anyone coming after BTO. This is because the person that will take over from him after his second term, has his work cut out. There is no arguing the fact that for what he as done so far, he deserved a second term. But whoever takes over after him has a tall order to equal or surpass his achievements, after just one year. Such politician risks resentment from the people for under-performance.
Continue the good work, Honourable Bunmi Tunji Ojo, the Ayanfe Ara ilu!