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MOB @ midterm: My scorecard

By The Citizen
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A retrospective look at the last twenty four months of Mr. Opayemi Bamidele in the House of Representatives with a match of his promises and his performance so far.

FOR someone, whose transition from a Commissioner of Information in Lagos State into a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, it was not unlikely that great expectations trailed Mr. Opayemi Bamidele's election into the House.

In his constituency, Ado-Ekiti/Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal constituency and beyond, the expectations to see the promises made ahead of the 2011 elections, translate into improved quality of life for the people, were rife.

Bamidele had upon declaration of intention to represent his constituency, pledged a representation with effective feedback mechanism between the elected and the electorate. That promise was in order to strengthen democratic principles and values while ensuring that power still resides with the people.

These promises as contained in his campaign manifesto, My Covenant, also promised a new Ekiti with opportunities where the commonwealth would be used judiciously and not short-changed or traded on a platter of mediocrity.

Two years on, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, is claiming to have remarkably delivered on the promises through co-sponsorship of bills, robust contributions to debates in the House, execution of constituency projects among others.

Rep. Opeyemi Bamidele

Rep. Opeyemi Bamidele
Disclosing this while giving his midterm report to a homegrown social cultural group, Ekiti Parapo in Lagos last Sunday, Bamidele said, his 24 months of representation have yielded concise and measurable results.

''In demonstrating my commitment to improving the quality of life of my people, I sought to empower and support 6 different segments of the society through the MOB Empowerment and Support Programmes with funds accruing from my remuneration. The programme in the last two years have empowered over 800 widows, senior citizens, youth, women folks and others,'' he stated.

Bamidele, who is also the Chairman House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, cited his leading role in the establishment of the National Assembly Budget and Research Office, NABRO asserting that he had through his position as chairman of the Committee ensured the establishment of the long desired body.

Besides establishing the office, he said that he had equally sponsored the bill to give legal backing to the body, adding the bill was now in different stages in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

'Through the House Legislative Budget and Research Committee assembled a team of consultants to come up with a draft bill on issues relating to Budget process with a view to addressing those issues that are hitherto problematic in budget formulation, passage and implementation.'

He also pointed at his interest in pushing through bills to improve the opportunities of people living with disability to the extent that 'conditions favourable to the attainment of their highest goals in life, whatever those goals may be.'

Among welfare programmes he claimed to have sponsored were empowerment and support programme and the food pantry initiative.

Pride of Nigeria and a soco-economic hub
In the future, the lawmaker said he would put issues concerning the youths, the physically challenged and poverty would be at the centre of his activities.

'The development of Ekiti State at large and would be undeterred in my desire to see my home state become a pride of Nigeria and a soco-economic hub,' he said.

Continuing, he said, 'I have in the period under review, presented a collective and communal front on critical issues that pertain to my constituency and Ekiti State, and represented my people in the task committed into my hands.'

Explaining further, he said, ''this timely motion prepared the House for the huge task that later snowballed into discovery of the mismanagement that characterised the fuel subsidy regime. Furthermore, the motion I brought to the floor of the House about the late submission of the 2012 Budget proposal resulted in the intervention of the House to push for early submission of budget proposal so as to ensure prompt passage of the bill in a bid to improve budget performance.''

On his gubernatorial ambition, which has continued to generate mixed feelings, he assured ACN supporters that the party would not run into a crisis on account of the tussle between him and Governor Kayode Fayemi for the party's 2014 gubernatorial ticket.

Bamidele was nevertheless conciliatory as he fended off issues pertaining to the gubernatorial contest or other political issues as he said that it would be unfair to raise them up in the absence of his political opponents within the ACN who were absent at the function.

'We are transiting from civilian regime to real democracy and at the end of the day it will make us have a more united Ekiti State where our children will grow to be very proud of,' the lawmaker said.