Nigeria: Enduring Legacy of a Parliamentarian who Established First Fire Service Station at Grassroots
Fire fighting demo at the fire station established bi Hon Jide Jimoh
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
London, May 7, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Abdur-Raheem Olajide Jimoh is currently an honourable member of the House of Representatives, representing the Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Jimoh, who came into active politics from banking sector, has proved himself beyond reasonable doubt that he is a grassroots man from the corporate world. Having been elected as a councillor into Yaba Local Government Council where he became the Legislative House Leader, the new breed politician, whose performance was adjudged satisfactory later graduated to the Lagos State House of Assembly as a lawmaker for eight years (1999-2007). He served under the then Lagos State Governor, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Jimoh later sought and got mandate of his people to serve them as an Executive Governor at the newly created Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), for two terms of three years apiece.
Although, he is now a Federal Lawmaker in Abuja, the Nigeria’s Capital City, the youthful politician, during a chat with alternativeafrika.com took a critical look at his tenure as a council boss and thank God for some enduring legacies he left behind in 2015.
As an Executive Leader, who had the power to execute projects, Jimoh embarked on some novel schemes that he made successes of.
“The essence of governance is to serve the people with a view to making their life more worthwhile in all its ramifications,” he told the alternativeafrika.com, thanking God that, “in that line, I thank God that I was able to try my best to the admiration of my people.”
Speaking further, the elated parliamentarian, mentioned specifically, “the establishment of a Fire Service Station which was the first of its kind in the Local Government administration in the whole of Nigeria.”
According to him, the station, which was equipped with necessary machines and trained personnel, has helped and still helping the people through job creation and prevention of loss of life and property that fire outbreak can cause within the vicinity and beyond.
Fire servicemen listen to tutorial ahead of a challenging day
On what motivated him to embark on such project, Jimoh said it was to augment the efforts of the state government in its effort to prevent and reduce the havoc inferno can cause, saying, “the essence of people in power is to safeguard the life and property of the citizenry.”
He also said that, poor service delivery by the Nigeria Fire Service was part of what motivated him to initiate the scheme which he said has been of immense assistance to the populace.
He therefore called for urgent nationwide improvement in the operations of the Nigeria Fire Service in terms of structure, funding, capacity building, conditions of service, provision of modern equipment and mode of operation for optimum performance.
He also extended an appeal to corporate and private institutions including governments at all levels to support fire service through donation of fire equipment, operational vehicles and water boreholes at various fire Service centres in the country. The call was made by the parliamentarians during their plenary session at the instance of a motion moved by Hon. Abdulraheem Olajide Jimoh.
The project has attracted the attention of the Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Mr. Olusegun Okebiorun, who commended the good initiative of the leadership of Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos State on the creation of a Fire Station Unit for uplifting the standard of the service.
A statement issued by the Federal Fire Service in Abuja signed by Assistant Controller (Corporate Service) Mr. Elechi Collins acknowledged the heart cheering initiative of the council chairman, Hon. Jide Jimoh to address welfare of the citizens in all possible ways.
“This initiative is worthy of emulation and highly commendable because of its importance in the drive towards prevention and other emergencies in the country.”
The Controller General in the statement said, “your newly created development council out of the Mainland in Lagos State had gone ahead of others to put in place a functional Fire Unit, in demonstration of good governance”.
The statement explained that, “the 774 Local Government Areas in the Federation are requested to key into this lofty idea which the Federal Government is working out in collaboration with the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON). We are encouraged by this development which is a wakeup call to other councils in the country”.
The Controller General congratulated Yaba Local Council and the residents and assured them of adequate support always.
The service of the fire station was handy when the Senate Building of the University of Lagos was under threat and the impressed former Vice Chancellor of the institution forwarded a letter of commendation to Jimoh and his team for a job well done.
Free Ambulance Service
Another project that has proved beneficial to Jimoh’s residents is the 24-Hour Free Ambulance Service he put on ground before his exit from the council. A middle age woman, Mrs. Felicia Okoro, who spoke with our correspondent praised the former chairman for his wisdom in bringing about that scheme.
According to her, what makes the project more interesting is the non-discriminatory aspect of it, saying, “their operation has no ethnic or religious colouration.” She remembered with relish, how the Free Ambulance Operators assisted her when she unexpectedly fell into labour. “They ferry me to the nearest Primary Health Centre for my safe delivery,” saying the project is still the talk of the town till now.
Jide Jimoh discusses with representatives of Doctors without Border
Commenting on this, Jimoh, the initiator of the programme further disclosed that, “aside the Free Ambulance Service, five well equipped Primary Health Centres were also built with well-trained medical professionals.
He also provided First Aid Boxes in all primary and secondary schools, first of its kind in the history of Local Government in the state.
Other empowerment programmes
It was discovered that Jimoh started monthly payment of N10, 000 stipends to 100 elderly people from 60 years and above which he sustained throughout his tenure. 33,000 pupils also benefitted from construction of blocks of classrooms, provision of chairs, desks and writing materials.
Also, security gadgets like metal detectors were also procured for schools, mosques and churches.
“These are in addition to empowerment of individuals, artisan and students who were either given tools to work, some monetary assistance to start small scale businesses as well as JAMB forms for secondary school leavers.
“Right now, as a Lawmaker, I have paid for JAMB forms for 250 applicants who have done well. And scholarships are in the offing for those who performed exceptionally well in the exam.
An elder statesman and a party chieftain, Otunba Tayo Oyemade during one f recent outings where Jimoh was distributing empowerment tools to artisans described him as, humble, God fearing and God sent to the community. Otunba Oyemade, who was also the former Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government lauded Jimoh for his foresightedness in all his programmes which he described as, “beneficial and lasting.”
APC chieftain Otunba Tayo Oyemade
Also speaking with alternativeafrika.com at the weekend, the APC Woman Leader, Prophetess Titilayo Tijani described Jimoh’s achievements at the grassroots level as, “legendary, heart-warming and enduring.”
The ecstatic woman politicians said, “Honourable Jide Jimoh’s performance here has engraved his name in the heart of the residence here,” saying, “the Fire Service Station and the Free Ambulance Services he put on ground before his exit have saved us a lot of trouble their absence could have caused us.”
She seized the opportunity of the interview to mention some other projects Jimoh carried out for the area. “Renovation of dilapidated schools like that of Adekunle along Hubert Macaulay Way, Abule Ijesha road construction, construction of healthcare centres and provition of portable water has put Jimoh’s name in our ever green memories.”
While showering prayers of the Federal Lawmaker, Prophetess Titilayo Tijani also disclosed that, “even as a legislator in Abuja now, he has not ceased to be of immense assistance to his constituents at home.”
“While thanking God for my achievements so far, I owe a lot of gratitude to the former Governor, the leader of all leaders, who saw in me a worthy son and assisted me to be of help to my community in particular and humanity in general,” Jimoh concluded.