By Emmanuel Ajibulu
Without mincing words, the proper office of a representative assembly as statutorily recognised is to watch and control the government, to throw the light of publicity on its acts, to compel a full exposition and justification of all of them which any one considers questionable, to censure them if found condemnable and to applaud them if found praiseworthy.
Hon Joseph Iranola Akinlaja representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency at the National Assembly is a worthy political icon whose nature characterises what modern and constitutional democracy represent especially at the hallowed chamber; his impacts are positively felt and available records speak volume of his indelible and meritorious milestones.
Apart from his robust contributions in terms of oversight functions, bills and motions at the chamber, this cerebral parliamentarian has embarked on numerous projects which are clearly in tandem with the wishes of his constituents which cut across all the wards in both Ondo East and West Local Government areas.
Among the projects are construction of motorized borehole, provision of hand pump borehole, distribution of wheel chairs to Mother and Child hospital in Ondo, study, design and development of both feasibility and environmental impact assessment for an earth dam in Laje Ward 2 of Ondo West LGA, supply of 300KVA and 500KVA high-tech transformers to many rural communities, rural electrification, installation of functional solar street lights, disbursement of financial aids to artisans and farmers, scholarships to brilliant but indigent students, among others.
Hon Akinlaja said the gesture is a timely and intermittent intervention aimed at reducing the socioeconomic burden on the shoulders of the people, particularly the downtrodden, adding:
“Before now, we have done a general empowerment programme throughout the length and breadth of my constituency. We have initiated an empowerment programme since our inception into office, where men, women, senior citizens, students, youths and various associations received business tools and equipment, plus other far reaching initiatives that can make life more abundant and meaningful.”
He added: “I usually interact with our people; we harmonize ideas and look out for the projects that can best suit their interest before implementation of such projects commence. The records are straight, for example in Ondo West, communities like, Ayeyemi, Lekere, Oka, Sabo, Okerowo, Okebola, Surulere, Oluwabamigbe, Saka Famuditimi, Adebanjo Camp, Agbogbo Oke, Odo Ayo, Ajilo/PasoCrae, Lotogbe, Odowo, Ogho, Laje, Fambegbe, Aratuloju, all benefited from our projects and empowerment schemes. Similarly, in Ondo East, residents of Igba, Katojo, Bolorunduro, Oniluri, Oluwaranmilowo village, Olomitoto, Urege, Elemosho, Alapa, Obadore, Awoduyilemi, Katojo, Tekunle, Owena, Sasere, Lipepeye, Lafiaji, Iluyomade Labosipo, Sokoto Ward, Oboto, Fagbo, and so on, have a feel and touch of our human friendly impacts.”
Besides, the federal lawmaker has renovated six blocks of classrooms and headmaster’s office in Igunshi community; he financed free summer lessons for St. Ambrose grammar school Akinjagunla, Ondo and paid for WAEC/NECO fees for the best three students. He organized free summer lessons for students of Ondo Boys High School and paid for WAEC/NECO fees for the best three students. Construction of 3 blocks of classrooms at Oniluri was also credited to him, plus free summer lessons for students in Ekinmogun grammar school Bolorunduro, with payments of WAEC/NECO fees for three best students. Over 20,000 free exercise books were equally distributed to school children and he as well donated thousands of free WAEC and JAMB past questions for students preparing for JAMB and ordinary level exams.Akinlaja has also completed the abandoned health centre at Haluroho.
In his personal contributions on health matters, apart from the wheel chairs he bought for the hospital, Akinlaja also paid for eye surgery for over 40 patients who suffered cataract in Ondo East and West LGAs. Apart from that, 20 sewing machines as well as 20 block molding machines were given out to the youths for economic empowerment. He also donated computer, printer and other IT gadgets to Yaba Police Station, and made provision for gari processing plant for farmers in Ward 4 of Ondo East LGA; he also offered tricycles to youths at various wards to mention but a few.
Some calls him 'aiyekooto' whilst others call him 'ina njo ogiri osa'. A member of Governor Olusegun Mimiko's think-tank. Those who assert that good and visionary leadership are already into extinction in Nigeria might be basking in the euphoria of sheer fallacy and ignorance.
Akinlaja is a genuine and dedicated Nigerian who has passion for the success and progress of 'Project-Nigeria'. He is tested and trusted, his credentials are quite fascinating and intimidating with ingredients that are capable of putting hope and convictions in the minds of the youth that integrity and hard work pays.