A member representing Irepodun Constituency in the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Felix Omotayo Awodiji, has empowered his constituents with vocational items worth millions of naira.
Some of the items presented to beneficiaries include power generators, freezers, agrochemicals for the farmers, chemical sprayers, sewing machines, clippers and motorcycles.
Speaking with journalists at the event in Omu-Aran in the Irepodun local government area of the state, Awodiji said the empowerment programme was held to complement the efforts of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq at impacting lives of the people.
He said, “We have discontinued with past form of empowerment where money like N10,000 or N50,000 were given to people. We have realized that overtime they will spend the money and there will be no reflection on the empowerment. The items presented to beneficiaries here will remain with the people for long.
“To this end, I want to urge our people to continue to support the government of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq who has been so passionate about the life of the people and he is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that Kwarans are living a better life than before. We are living no stone unturned doing that. What this ninth Assembly is doing is unprecedented in the legislative history of Kwara state”
The lawmaker, who said that he remained unconcerned about any interpretation given the programme, added that the focus of the programme was to impact on the lives of the people.
“These are things most artisans require to earn a living from and if you give somebody a means of livelihood I think that person will not forget you tomorrow. That is the essence of this empowerment programme”, he added.
The lawmaker urged the beneficiaries to make best use of the opportunity by not selling the items presented to them, saying that they should use them for the purposes for which they were meant.
He also urged politicians in the state to continue to make impact in the lives of the people, saying that “a life of no impact is a life of no value”.
Some of the beneficiaries who expressed delight, pledged to utilise the items given to them judiciously.
Also speaking, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Prince Shuaib Olanrewaju, said empowerment scheme is not the duty of lawmakers but noted that the Constituents would tag them as unperforming if they refused to do it.
He stated that the primary responsibility of a lawmaker is to legislate and oversight, pointing out that Awodiji deserved to be appreciated for his kind gesture.
“I took time to calculate the salary of lawmaker in the House for four years and I discovered that it cannot tar four kilometres of road except the lawmaker would want to steal”, Olanrewaju said.
He, however, enjoined lawmakers to engage the people more in town hall meetings to be able to secure their inputs on any proposed law.
The party stalwart also used the occasion to warn that Governor AbdulRazaq has not endorsed any aspirant and urged those in the habit of name dropping to tread softly.
The state APC chairman, Prince Sunday Adeniran Fagbemi, said the state would not return to the era of underdevelopment.
Fagbemi, who spoke through the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Tajudeen Folaranmi Aro, urged political office holders in the state to always remember the departed individuals who participated in the struggle that liberated the state from the yolk of selfish politicians.
In the same vein, the legislator for Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency, Olawuyi admonished the beneficiaries not to dispose the items given to them.
He applauded the Irepodun Constituency lawmaker in the state House of Assembly for the initiative.
Olawuyi added, “Hon. Awodiji belongs to my political family, APC and one of our cardinal programmes is to give back to the people that produced us. I’m so happy for him. This type of empowerment is not what was budgeted for. You have to put your hands in your pocket before this can be done”.
Also at the event, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Engineer Yakubu Danladi Salihu, pledged the commitment of the Ninth Assembly under his leadership to the wellbeing and welfare of the people of the state.
He observed that the current legislature has changed the narrative in terms of lawmaking, oversight and delivery of good governance to the people at the grassroot.
Describing Awodiji as one of the best lawmakers in the state House of Assembly, Salihu said his performance in the hallowed chamber of the House speaks volume of the good trait of the people of Kwara South in general.
He added that the House would love the Irepodun lawmaker to return in the forthcoming general elections based on the quality representation he has been offering the people of his constituency.
Olupo of Ajase-Ipo appealed to office holders to assist the less privileged in their communities.
A visually impaired student, Abdulganiyu AbdulAfeez Abiodun, who is of Omu-Aran town and beneficiary of Awodiji empowerment programme, heaped praises on the lawmaker for his assistance at all times.
He said, “I came to know Hon. Awodiji around 2020 and he has done a lot for me that I can’t forget in my life. He has helped me academically. I have benefitted from his magnanimity before now and in the new empowerment scheme, I’m getting a computer laptop from him”.
Another physically challenged welder, Segun Bamidele, also gave testimony of how the lawmaker has been of immense help in his vocational skills.
“I have been into welding business and construction of disabled people mobility for the past 20 years, and I’m grateful to Hon. Awodiji for his support. This is not the first time he would be helping me. He bought welding machine for me in the first phase of his empowerment programme”, he said.
Items distributed at the programme include motorcycles, generators, sewing machines, freezers, dryers, clippers, bags of salt, knapsack sprayers and chemicals for farmers.