Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Comrade Kayode Opeifa recently cast himself as a principled person who has the training and experience necessary to lead the centre of excellence and Nigeria’s commercial capital.
“I am eminently qualified to be Nigeria’s president, more so to be Lagos governor. However, i am an organisation person. My plan is God’s plan. Am not in APC by accident. In a progressive organisation like ours, It is not about ambition, if you are not chosen, it is a joke,” he told orijoreporter when he was asked if he would contest for any political office come 2015.
Describing himself as a political activist, the one-time national Vice President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and Ex-Lagos State Chairman chapter, spoke about life in the trenches.
“My contemporaries are the current Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the General Secretary National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, Late Chima Ubani, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, Information Minister Labaran Maku. and a whole lot of others.”
Reacting to late Gani Fawehinmi Memorial event where his presence drew hostile jeers from some activists because they believed he had abandoned the ship, the ex-Vice President of Lagos State University(LASU) Academic Staff Union (ASSU) who was a lecturer in the school, and a union leader said he is still militantly on the side of the oppressed.
“Am a political activist and the principles i used to have, i still have them. Those boys were not my colleagues, and the problem they had was that Muiz Banire was there earlier, and i came in later. They felt politicians were dominating the event.
“Most activists were not happy with them. Gani Fawehim’s son responded, CDIA too responded and declared fatwa on those boys. We had the first congress at the national theatre then, Femi Aborishade, Debo Adeniran, Femi Ojodu, those are my set.”
At one-time, he was President of Rotaract Club of Ipaja, and during his tenure, the club was adjudged thrice in four years as the best club Rotaract District 9110 in Nigeria. Over 50% of trees on Abesan/ Ipaja Estate were planted by Rotaract of Ipaja under his leadership.
At another time, he was coach of LASU Handball Team, and led the female team to medal victories in two NUGA Games.
Talking about his present job, he said his principals, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Gov. Fashola have affected history in some ways, particularly as it relates to transports which he heads the ministry.
“In 2007, we established the driver institute. For you to be professional driver, you must attend the institute for at least eight hours. That is what we called chartered driver. In Chicago, you go to class for eight hours for thirty days. You must be authorized to drive passengers, and have to put the certificate in front of your car.
“As of today, we have about 200 thousand drivers that have gone through the certification. We don’t teach them how to drive but how not to drive.
“The planned uniform will make us know who is a driver and who is not. The driver wears long sleeve and the conductor wears short-sleeve. In another two years, you will see how drivers will be proud of the job they do. All the taxis will have their data also a reasonable number of Kabukabu.
“Outside this country if i were to be in America, i won’t have a driver. I will drive myself. Here, who is driving us? Drop-outs. Are they really drivers? They are there because of social economic reasons. Under that circumstances we cannot get the best.”
A Microsoft Certified Solution Engineer, and a Ph.D Degree holder in Toxicology and Intermediary Metabolism, Comrade Opeifa is specially trained in Food Drugs Administration (FDA) approved process Validation procedures as well as technical writing. He denied speculation that the ban on the operation of commercial motorcycles in certain areas in the state has been lifted.
“It still remains banned. The House of Assembly members were only concerned about the way security operatives were manhandling operators.
“Only Lagos State banned it by law, Edo, Rivers, Kano, Nasarawa were all by pronouncements. It is about safety. Okada came as a result of social economic problem, it was never a means of public transport.
“Before the law came into place, i met with Okada Association every month for four years. We didn’t do it for political reason. The governor met them three times before restriction. If you want to see whether a country is in order, go and see their transport system.”