Hon. Oghene Egoh is a member-elect, House of Representatives. Though from Delta State, he will represent Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency in Lagos.
Your name does not sound like a Yoruba name; it’s like you are from Delta State, how were you able to get elected in Lagos State?
It is true that I am not from Lagos State, but I have lived in Lagos for a very long time and this is not the first time I am contesting for election in Lagos state. I was elected counselor in Badagry Local Government, I was also a counselor in Ojo Local Government, and I was the state Publicity Secretary of NRC. I have been involved in the politics of Lagos for a very long time.
The President Elect recently solicited for the support and cooperation of lawmakers, especially on the reduction in the cost of governance. Would you support any move to reduce the allowance and salaries of lawmakers?
Well, I don’t even know what the allowances of lawmakers are. I came here to represent my people of Amuwo Odofin as a lawmaker. And I am grateful to them for electing me.
Your Party has been faced with lots of problems, especially with mass defection to the APC. Does this not spell doom for your party in future?
I don’t know where they are facing problems, but in Amuwo Odofin where I come from, APC people are joining us. We are not defecting and I am not defecting. I have come here to represent my party and I will stay in my party PDP. Well, some people were not really in PDP as a mark of commitment, they probably were just there looking for money and contract they can get, and now that the party lost at the federal level they have moved to where they think their bread would be buttered, and for such people I say ‘goodluck’, because they are disgracing themselves and whoever they represent, and even the APC will know that they are not steadfast, and in politics you need to be steadfast and believe in the programmes of your party. It shows that, in the first instance, they (defectors) never believed in the programmes of the PDP and as they join APC they will also not believe in the policies and programmes of the party, and with time, the APC will know that these people are gold-diggers who came to reap where they did not sow. It’s unfortunate that people can behave like that in Nigeria.
Delta State has been known to be a PDP State, what makes the party thick in Delta State?
Well, I am not in the politics of Delta State but in the last election that was declared, PDP won and so be it and what we are praying for is that the newly elected governor, Okowa, will improve on what Governor Uduaghan did, so that people would continue to love PDP.
It seems that in all the states of the federation, it is only Delta State that power rotates within the three senatorial zones. Why is it so?
I don’t know but I think that those who are in Delta State and playing politics in Delta State want it so. And I think it is not a bad idea, and l hope it would be sustained to maintain peace and unity in the state.
As a PDP member in Lagos State, how do you hope to work harmoniously with the APC government in the State?
You mean in Lagos state, why not? We have an APC governor. Luckily, we worked together several years ago when I was a counselor and he was a treasury officer in the counsel in Badagry. If there are things we need to do in my area, especially infrastructural development, we collaborate with him, and we will talk to him about it. We don’t have to be enemies because we belong to different parties. We belong to different parties but the problem of the people are the same. It is our collective duty to solve the problem of the people. I am a lawmaker, am not an executive, I cannot award contracts but I can identify projects that will be suitable for my people and I can pass them on to him and I do hope that he will cooperate with us. He would not look at us as enemies and we would work as partners in progress, because Amuwo Odofin has always voted for his party. It is only now that they are voting for us and the problem that is on ground, the problem of infrastructural decay has been there all the while that they have been voting for his party. So, I hope he would look back and know he owes it as a duty to attend to the problems of the people of Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency, and help tackle the problems of infrastructural decay in the area.
Many people have identified this non-indigene issue as one of the major setbacks in the country, hence the call that if one has lived in a place for more than ten years he/she should not be given the tag of non-indigene. What’s your reaction?
I hope that people will look at us – three of us were elected in Lagos State – and I am from Delta State. My other two colleagues are from the south-East and we have all lived in Lagos for a very long time. Once people live in an area for some time, they are part of the people. There is a Yoruba proverb that says, “if the soap and the leaf stay together for a long time, the soap will turn to leaf.” So when you have stayed together for a long time, you go to the same market, you go to the same school, you face the same infrastructural problem, that you are indigene or not does not make you face a different problem, everybody passes the same bad road. I hope that people who are worried about the issue of indigene or non-indigene will look at us and say look at Oghene, he was a counselor at Oyo Local Government, he was Publicity Secretary of NRC, Lagos State; now he is representing Lagos State at the Federal House of Representatives.