A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Segun Olulade believes he has the capacity to serve the people of Epe Constituency at the federal level from 2023.
Olulade, a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, stressed that sanity is a virtue, while insisting that politics is not a dirty game.
The ex-lawmaker spoke with the crew of Buzz News Magazine, led by it’s Publisher, Mrs. Funmilayo Olowosegun in his office in Lagos.
Can we meet you?
I am Hon. Segun Olulade, a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. I was born over 50 years ago to the late Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Sufian Olulade of Ikosi Ejinrin in Epe area of Lagos State. I went to primary and secondary schools in Ejinrin. I had a break in my education as I came from a very humble family. But I eventually went to the Lagos State University (LASU), where I did Economics and made second class upper. I served in a bank, UBA, and I was retained there for some time. In 2001, I went to Jos, Plateau State and I got back to Lagos in 2002. I searched for job and I couldn’t get then and I had to start volunteering work. I decided to take a job in cleaning the city of Lagos free of charge before I started my own job of waste management.
So, why did you go into politics?
I would say that people that inspired me into politics remain my mentor. The first person that attracted me to politics was the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande. I was the senior boy of my school and I had a handshake with him, when he came to our school then. I then decided that I wanted to be like him and from that moment I fell in love with politics. Also, I came from a political family. My parents were both politicians, but they had different ideologies. My mother was in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) then, while my father was in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). My mother was also in the National Republican Convention (NRC), while my father was in the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The only thing that brought them together was the election of the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election by the government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.). Then my mother became a supporter of the SDP. She was like that until Alliance for Democracy (AD) came in 1999 and that taught me tolerance. Also, going into the legislative arm of government, I was influenced by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the late Chuba Okadigbo. In 1992/1993, they were both senators and I saw the way Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was talking about June 12,1993 election and in 1999, when they came back, I was one of the people that campaigned for Tinubu to become the governor of Lagos State and he invited me into his office after the election to show appreciation. After that, I would always visit the Lagos State House of Assembly to see what they were doing there and I saw that they were always debating one issue or the other during plenary. I felt I could do what they were doing then. Initially, I thought the only thing they did was to go to the chamber to debate, then go back and make all the money. But when I got there, I discovered that if you must excel you have to do a lot of researches, and you have to do oversight. Most of the oversight that I did in the committees that I heaed are still there for people to see.
So far so good, would you like to tell us your accomplishments?
Taking about accomplishments, I will say I have just started. Some people believe that life starts at 40, but I would say thaf life starts at 50. I thank God that I have been able to do one or two things that have distinguished me from my contemporaries. I was the first lawmaker that moved motion in an indigenous language. I also became the first lawmaker that started feedback mechanism and I was the first lawmaker that moved that the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti should be immortalised in Lagos. My oversight functions took a new dimension. I visited so many health facilities in Lagos as the Chairman of the House Committee on Health.
We were able to appreciate those who worked diligently. We rewarded two nurses for the great jobs they were doing. In so many facilities, I paid for some patients to be discharged from the hospitals. As the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, I started the fist legislative, civil society and editors parley. We rebranded the magazine of the house to international standard, we moved Radio Lagos and Eko FM from analogue to digital, we also moved LTV 8 from analogue to digital. We transformed the Lagos State Printing Corporation, which was about to be closed down, we resusticated it and they are all working well now. We also have wonderful period with the media.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently and what have been your driving forces?
I think I feel fulfilled, which was why I wanted to go higher after serving for eight years and put the name of Epe Constituency 2 on the state map in terms of good representation and I think I will do same if I get to the National Assembly.
How did you meet your wife?
I will say it was a divine meeting because I was at the lowest period of my life, when I met her. There was no job, no house and I had only two trousers and two shirts and I was also living with someone. When she came in that day, she came with some married women who were friends of my sister. She happens to be the daughter of someone that I had known for many years though I had never met her I knew her siblings. So I asked my sister that, “who is this pretty girl amongst these women.” I just said that is my wife though I had not spoken with her. I asked my sister that “who is that,” she said she is “Mama Fowora’s daughter.” She said she was the woman’s last child. I was looking at her and I told her that she was my wife. It took me almost seven months before she finally said ‘yes.’ I didn’t have a job, I would just wake up in the morning, go to her house and be watching movies. People were wondering why I was doing that instead of working. But I kept telling her my vision and how I would do them. If she had anything that confused her she would ask me. Fortunately, I am her first and last love.
People look at you as a handsome celebrity, how do you cope with the femalefolk?
I will say it is discipline and you must know what you want and what you do in life. When you are a Christian and you know what you do, you can be tempted atimes, but you must be careful. It is the grace of God. Also, one must not be unequally yoked with those that would lead you into it. I don’t drink, I don’t club, but I love going to parties. When I go to parties, I just enjoy the music and have a good time with people.
Is there any childhood prank you played that boomerang?
The first one was that as a young boy I rolled paper, lit it with matches, I smoked it and I started coughing. When my mother heard what I did, she beat the hell out of me. After that, I didn’t do it again. Another one that I did was when I picked money on the road about three streets away from our house. I told my mother about it. She asked me to return the money and she beat me to where I picked the money from. I still have the mark on me, I can never forget that day. When she started beating me, it didn’t cross my mind to lie that I took it from a nearby place. It is now that it occurred to me that I could have just said I picked close to the house so that the beating would have reduced.
People believe that politics is a dirty game, what do you say to this?
I always tell people that one of the lies from the pit of hell is to say that politics is a dirty game. Of course we have a lot of dirty people playing politics and this scares a lot of people away from politics, but we are changing the narratives. That is one of the things I am in politics for. I want people to know that politics is not dirty. I went somewhere yesterday and I was seeing them for the first time though they have heard a lot about me. They said I was one of the few people that made them know that there are still good people in politics. That is what I am out for. I want to change that narrative. You can see a lot of great people in politics today. Our Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a pastor and he is in politics. If not for age, I would want the likes of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A Adeboye to be in politics. We should have great and honest people in politics rather than leaving it for those that will make it dirty.
Can you tell us your high and low points as lawmaker then?
My lowest point as a lawmaker was the day I sat in the chamber and I had to go and receive an urgent call and they told me that the Lagos State Government was demolishing houses in my constituency in Odo Iragunshi. Lady Doja Otedola called me about it. It was something that we debated on the floor of the house and they told the government to stay action until further notice. This made a lot of people homeless and some families eventually lost their heads of families and some people become paralyzed. We should have corrected these before the houses were built. We know we have shortage of houses all over.
My high point was the first day I moved a motion on the floor of the House.
What is your relationship with the grassroots now?
It is still cordial more than when I was in the House. I am still in tune with them and they are in tune with me. If I am going to Epe, right from Ketu in the city and they will start praising me and the same happens, when I get to Ikorodu, Imota, Agbowa and from there about 20 to 30 okada riders would lead me to my house in Ejinrin. This is in appreciation of what I did, while in office then.
What are your guiding principles?
It is impacting my society positively, humility, generosity and building people. Iove to look at how best I can empower the people, especially the youth. Recently, I joined an organization on back to school programme for children.
What is your comments on the perceived presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu despite his health challenges though he has not declared officially?
He has not declared, but some of us will ensure that he declares. We will encourage him to do so. We will enforce him to come and join the race.
Why would you do that?
A lot of people have been talking about his health, but anybody can fall sick. It is for God to continue to give us sound health. Tinubu is someone that has produced more leaders that anybody in this country. He was the first Governor to pay WASSCE fees for students, the first Governor to start Independent power project in Nigeria and he was the first governor to challenge the Federal Government on true federalism by creating Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs). He was the first governor that challenged so many laws that are not in tune with federalism. He started ‘jigi Bola,’ and constructed many roads. He was the first to assemble the best brains in the society that anyone can think of. He brought a northerner, South Easterner and South Southerners into his government. You cannot joke with such a man. He brought an innovation that took the monthly Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of Lagos State from N600 million to about N12 Billion before he left office. You can understand when we say we want someone who knows what to do and how to do it. This is someone that has produced presidents even outside Nigeria. He has made people, and this manifested in a commissioner that later became two-term Governor and, who is now a minister, his former Chief of Staff became a Governor for two-term and now minister, while his former commissioner is now the Vice President of the country. He has fought for other people that are doing well. This is the kind of person that we need. If we can have him, a lot of things will change, he understands power devolution, and frue federalism. He understands how to assemble the best brains and how to put a round peg in a round hole, which is why we want someone like him to be president after Muhammadu Buhari.
It is obvious that we are having security and economic problems in the country, how can these be tackled by the Federal Government?
That is why we need someone like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he is an economist and he knows what to do about economy. Economy is one of the major factors that led to insecurity because we have a lot of hungry people around. Let us tackle insecurity and economy. We have had a lot of infrastructure development under President Buhari, though they are not being noticed because of insecurity. I believe that this current government will tackle insecurity. I think the man has just woken up from his slumber now. We can see where we were and where we are on security now. If that can be sustained till next year, by 2023, we will not talk about insecurity again it will now be economy. I believe that with the coming of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President of the country, that would be addressed perfectly.
Would you support restructuring and constitutional review in Nigeria?
We might say we have not done it, but it is being done in a way. We can see the President talking about the third tier of government, the federal government cannot be talking about local governments, it is the responsibility of the state to create local governments and ensure they do well. We can see what is going on over Value Added Tax (VAT) that we are getting there. Let the states generate their resources and control them, which is what we call resource control. That is what we mean by federal system of government. This also goes for state police.
What is your next political move?
What we should all pray for is life and sound health. I am well equipped to serve the people and if it is about serving the people, you don’t need to struggle for it. My people are yearning for my service, so let us give them the opportunity to choose who they want. If that is done, by the grace of God I will serve the great people of Epe at the National Assembly in 2023.