Makinde is a Silent Achiever, Your Attacks Are Myopic–Stanley Odidiomo
TRANSCRIPT: HONOURABLE ADEDEJI STANLEY OLAJIDE ODIDIOMO’S PHONE INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR ISAAC BROWN ON FRESH 105.9 FM IBADAN’S COVID-19 SITUATION ROOM RADIO PROGRAMME (10 AM, MAY 7, 2020)
MAYOR: Honourable member of the House of Representatives, Stanley Olajide is in the house, good morning sir. Let’s get straight off from the state. Governor Seyi Makinde , the leader of your party (PDP) has come intense criticisms from the way he has been handling the COVID 19 pandemic in the state. If you look at the talking point of the opposition (APC), some have described his approach as dangerous while some said his approach is populism driven, still others say he is lackadaisical. Yesterday, we heard something else form distinguished Senator AbdulFatai Buhari who even doubted the COVID-19 status of Governor Seyi makinde. What is your take?
ODIDIOMO: Good morning Isaac Brown. Well, the pedigree of these people and our pedigree are completely far apart. Such utterances I considered them very ill informed, ill conceived, very myopic, careless, not distinguished and also regrettable. Let me say this, as we go along in this conversation I will go on the side of fact and not on emotion. Now, as of 4th of February, 2020, the NCDC DG was invited into the national assembly and we had a meeting of the health services committee which I am a member, I asked a very specific question that day, I said “are we paying attention to our porous borders?”, he said “well, we have some limitations, we have overstretched our human resources due to Lassa fever, insufficient stock piles and limitation in isolation centers which made me to believe that we are not ready. Now, as of the 31st of March, 2020, Lagos 76 cases, FCT 26 cases, Ogun 4 cases, Oyo 8 cases, the only death, two of them, were in the FCT. As of this morning, Lagos despite all of the lockdowns, 1,308 cases, FCT 316 cases, Ogun 95 cases, Oyo 52 cases and when we look at the deaths, Lagos 30, FCT 4, Ogun 2, Oyo 2, you look at these numbers and not emotions, despite the lockdowns, look at the percentage increase in the all of the states under lockdown. Lagos is a major city that is where majority of the flights coming into Nigeria land and that is why Lagos is where it is. Oyo state we don’t have the same numbers of flights coming into the state, so which means migration is what we have to pay attention to, I want to use this to say I applaud the work of Governor Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde is doing in Oyo state based on these numbers not on the sheer emotions of some individuals. Now, I heard something he (AbdulFatai Buhari) was saying over and over yesterday about Georgia. Look, Georgia is a high immigrant state, major air hub for most airlines, so which means that they bring the virus first hand to Georgia, the same goes with New York, you have a lot of immigrants coming into New York. We also have to talk about how densely populated the two states are, so what works in those states is different from what works in Iowa, a remote area and the same goes in dealing with situation in Ogbomosho, I am going somewhere with this point, what our Governor is doing is equipping himself with very well-informed professionals. Again, I must also thank our frontline workers for the excellent work they are doing. Someone making a statement that Governor Makinde lied about his COVID-19 status, did the CMD of UCH also lie about his status? Did he also play politics with it? We all have to be guided in our statement, some of these people are all overridden by their ambition, and they are not going about with facts but the facts that I have on hand, no one perfect solution for COVID-19. We have to rely heavily on our health professionals they are the ones that will guide us. And someone talked about five days to recoup, the Governor himself provided the explanation that he is asymptomatic, so, the way our genes react to ailments are different from each other. We need to understand that what we are dealing with is something that has no solution. Based on what the Governor did, President Buhari is also following him with the dusk to dawn curfew imposed.
MAYOR: Honourable Stanley, let me pick up from where you stopped, Senator Buhari and other APC stalwarts will tell you that President Buhari is not exactly following what Seyi Makinde is doing, the contrast here is simple, the Federal Government fully lockdown those states, and we are now talking about easing lockdown while in Oyo state we had a partial lockdown and now the governor has rolled out easing restrictions, that is the contrast. Secondly, you are from Ibadan, the index case is from Ibadan, when you fast track to now, it appears we now have 52 cases in Oyo state now, we had 8 yesterday (Wednesday) , from the statistics before me, Ibadan is looking like the epicenter of COVID-19 in Oyo state, if you sum up the measure taken by the governor, thus far, especially in the area of one, the partial lockdown, directing that essential businesses and markets be opened with respect to social distancing and curfew in the state, when you marry all these measures directed by Governor seyi Makinde, will you say these measures have reduced the spread of the virus in Oyo state?
ODIDIOMO: Thank you Isaac Brown, something you do when you are dealing with statistics, you isolate based on certain algorithms, when you look at the numbers from Lagos state as at when we are going into lockdown, it was only 76 cases and now 1, 308, would you say ideally that the lockdown actually give you what you are looking for? No, it did not give us the results we are looking for, so what our Excellency (Seyi Makinde) is doing by doing the curfew and educating people to wash their hands stay indoors when they don’t have to go out is yielding results.
Mayor cuts in, I must commend you Honourable, tracking your activities from fresh FM, you commit huge resources when this pandemic broke out in sensitising the people, thank you for doing that.
First of all you don’t have to thank me, with or without politics that is the honourable thing to do and I will continue to accept and do more as it is necessary. But, let me go back to the point, the real issue we all should be hammering on is the window of opportunity that we missed from the early part of February when the curve was still very flat, we should have shut down international travel, we missed that. You have to sit down and look at the exact cause of all these problems, people are traveling from Kano to Oyo state, do you know how many states they have gone through? Migration is one of the key problems when you have a pandemic, you have to find a way to reduce migration but unfortunately, we have very porous borders. We missed a window of opportunity and here we are blaming a performing governor. Every hour of the day see him (Seyi Makinde) doing his work, we are dealing with a pandemic, what works in Ibadan might necessarily not work in Ogbomosho, what works in Ogbomosho might not work in Lalate. So we have to assess the situation and our Governor is capable, so, these people should just shut up and let him do his work.
MAYOR: The fact that the Governor did succeed at increasing testing capacities with what is going on in Adamashigba, targeting 10,000 and he has been able to domicile a diagnostics centre in Ibadan as we speak to collect samples which means it is now faster now to get results out once folks have been tested. He has also increase isolation centers in other parts of the state most especially in Igbo-ora and Saki, to you, is this a big deal and not a lip service like others have been saying?
ODIDIOMO: Isaac Brown, thank you, let me tell you this, when we started this journey, NCDC reported that they had insufficient stockpile, where do they expect us to get the testing kits from? So you have to understand that at the earliest stage when we missed the window of opportunity, it is going to trickle down all the way so basically we have all the states competing for the same resources, with the limited resources, Lagos had 10 billion naira, the FCT the same thing and giving Oyo state very little to deal with the situation. Even at the time when the curve started, Oyo had more cases than Ogun but I can also understand, Ogun borders Lagos state meaning that people that work in Lagos state live in Ogun state, so that calls for some measures and I won’t fault that, again, did they come to our rescue and give us some of the resources we need when we needed it? The Governor had to reshuffle from very small resources to start making these things happen, so for me I understand as we test more the numbers will continue to rise.
MAYOR: Are you please that now we can test and get our results now in the state based on what the governor has done?
ODIDIOMO: Well, I know the governor wants to do more because he is not satisfy with the current situation, he wants to do more, so, let us allow him because when a man is head down trying to get the work done, one thing I do not want to do is to be a form of distraction which some people are trying to do right now, let him focus with the experts he has gathered and surrounded himself with to attack the problem. One thing I can you tell is, these numbers in Oyo state could have been worst but some of the measures we have in place are helping. Let us just let the man (Seyi Makinde) focus on his work, everybody should back off! Stay away! Let him get the job done, he is going to be the one to take the credit or the blame for whatever happen in Oyo state and I am very convinced that he is going to do a thorough and fantastic job at what he is doing.
MAYOR: Help us make sense out of the palliative from the federal government the rice shared, of course you heard of the back and forth, the state government which kicked started yesterday and what you are doing on your part as an individual.
ODIDIOMO: First of all, let me talk about the federal government, the cash transfer policy and the food palliative. It is not adequate it is far from touching the lives that it ought to be touching. We made a lot of protest on it at the national assembly and I think now we are getting the attention. So, I don’t know of one person that benefited from the palliative from my federal constituency, not one. For me, it is not adequate and they need to do more, this cash transfer is a policy that started since 2016 and they have been funding this with over 400 billion naira, this is something we have to stay on their neck, they must do it, so that is that. Secondly, about what our Excellency is doing on the palliative, I am not surprised, he is a silent achiever and he is different from all these hypocritical noise makers that make noise over every peanut they spend. He (Seyi Makinde) is going to touch all the lives he said he is going to touch, kudos to him and I know he is still going to do more. I personally I have done a lot and I am going to continue do more as an individual not as a honourable member, because as a member there is limit to what I can do, they did not give us any provision to do anything for our people but I diverted all my running cost towards doing that and it is going well. I have done phase I and II and phase III is still coming.
Major cuts in, I heard you sent in couple of tankers to supply water in your federal constituency
ODIDIOMO: That is not true. First of all, looking at the situation we had to do what we had in my power, we started with 150 bags of rice, Noodles, Spaghettis, we packaged them and we went around my federal constituency, we gave it to individuals, to windows and elderly, the needy and the less privileged and when that was not enough, we took the second batch, another 250 bags and that went around then we started with Ramadan palliative. I am also paying medical bills of a lot of people. People are starving, they send their account numbers to me and we pick at random.
MAYOR: What is your stand on vaccination bill and the local borrowing bill?
ODIDIOMO: The vaccination bill is dead on arrival as far as I am concerned it is going to go through all the various six stages that it has to go through, that is not negotiable.
Mayor cuts in, but you won’t vote for it?
ODIDIOMO: In the current stage, until our people say it is okay, we are not going to vote for it. The second one, borrowing is not a bad thing, our source of revenue has evaporated which is oil so basically we must find a way to fund the budget but again we have to find out exactly what they are going to use the money for. So, to actually take loan to fund the economy is not a bad thing.
MAYOR: People have accused the governor for hasty action in asking a cadre of workers in the state to resume despite the fact that the federal government has done the same, what is your contribution?
ODIDIOMO: Well, you have to strike a balance between sustaining your economy and dealing with the pandemic. You can’t totally ignore your economy while just focusing on the pandemic because you won’t have an economy to come back to , so, I applaud what the governor is doing so that way the government is running and at least we can start to resuscitate our economy. There so many other countries doing the same and even the federal government is following suit.I mean right now in National Assembly, we have resumed,only we are down to one day a week..we sit on Tuesday and everything else from then is just committee needed to work… I support what he is doing and I want to give everybody the courage and I am asking them to please support our Governor.He is not only the Governor of PDP .He is Governor over APC,PDP ADC and all your political affiliations ..He is Governor of the people..Let us rally around him and support him through all and stop these cheap blackmailing this people are doing. Thank you very much Isaac Brown