Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto has pledged to continue living in his one-bedroom apartment, even after he realises his ambition of joining the Ogun State House of Assembly in the 2019 general election.
Soweto was elected to represent Ifo 2 Constituency in the Ogun State House of Assembly on the platform of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).
Soweto, a youth activist and national coordinator of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), has been at the forefront of students’ movement and emancipation across the country.
Speaking after the primary election, he lamented the poor state of infrastructure in his constituency and how they are being deprived of dividends of democracy.
He further blamed the undeveloped state of his constituency on the deliberate act of the state government to look away from the area.
He said: “The terrible state of our roads, the poor state of public education and healthcare and the absolute lack of jobs and economic opportunities in the constituency is a direct result of the conspiracy of the Ogun State government with the active connivance of the Honourable member representing Ifo 2 to keep our people in misery.
“Unfortunately, neither the governor nor Honourable Ganiyu Oyediji cares. Just look around to see how many uncompleted projects litter the community. In addition, the terrible state of roads and public infrastructure has constituted a danger to our people and particularly the children.
“Just a few weeks ago, exactly on Sunday, 16 September, 2018, a 14-year-old girl, Damilola Adegboye was swept into an open canal from which she has not been found up till now."
Soweto maintained that he believed political offices should be about service to the people and not self-enrichment. He also pledged that if elected, he would live a frugal life not different from that of the majority of his constituency.
He also promised to declare his assets and not receive more than the average wage of a civil servant.
“I shall declare my assets annually and I shall be accountable to my party and constituency. I will continue to live in my rented one-bedroom apartment in the community; I shall not accept more than the average wage of a civil servant. The excess of my salary will be donated to the party to utilise in assisting the struggles of workers, youth, the poor and our communities," he said.
He further promised a better life for the residents of Ogun State, stating that during his stay in the Assembly, he would negate every anti-people policy and vigorously work with all unions to defend the interests of their members using legislation as well as building massive campaigns to fight for free education; reversal of hiked fees; reversal of all politically-motivated sack and expulsion of workers and students leaders; payment of owed salaries and allowances to workers; payment of minimum wage, and respect of labour laws by employers and the democratic rights of the people.