Stories by FUNSO OMODELEOLA
TOWARDS a better constituency engagement was the theme of a pan Lagos State town hall meetings which held simultaneously across the 40 constituencies of the State hosted by the 40 members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, this is a paradigm shift from what prior to now was the norm
Party leanings was deliberately downplayed to foster collective development of the constituents in the state, as Executive Secretaries who were All Peoples Congress foot soldiers at the grassroots level were present even in a constituency won by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lawmakers.
Each of the lawmakers in their domain extended an olive branch to the opposition party, stressing the need for even development, it is however worthy of note that the same speech was read by the 40 legislators.
The Speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who affirms the oneness culture approach of the 8th Assembly, noted that much would be achieved when the constituents are afforded an avenue to air their views on issues that pertains to their development.
While fielding questions from newsmen after the town hall session the House Committee Chairman on Education, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi representing Ojo State Constituency reiterated the essence of the process, stating unequivocally that
“The essence of this is to get back to the constituents who have elected all us, the 40 lawmakers of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent them we must intimate them about what government has done in the last eight years, the last six month of the 8th Assembly and most importantly, they should be able to air their views as we prepare the 2016 budget”.
“Their inputs, criticism and suggestions as to what need be done on peculiar issues; roads, our electricity run comatose, my constituency has a fair share of the waterways we feels short changed in the scheme of things, as my area is 45-50 percent riverine, a lot of our constituents record boat mishaps, students on their way to school were victim, we are thinking how we can bring schools closer to them, hostels, teachers inaccessible to duty post, I will leverage on my committee to change the tide for qualitative education.
“The town hall meeting is a participatory scheme, we will leverage on that and make good the inputs of the people, opening of the rural areas, latching on the benefits stored up there especially tourist centre in the riverine area, banana plantation site and what have you.
Hon. Victor Olusegun Akande of PDP Ojo1 whose stakeholders parley was held at the spacious Ojo town hall, had people from the PDP, APC, council executive secretary, traditional rulers and various organized groups, exhibited a great understanding of grass root government having lived amongst his constituents for over two decades.
He noted his selfless resolve to do all in his capacity to position the constituency for good as he doled out 30 computers to 30 primary and secondary schools in his constituency to enhance easy learning and teaching of the pupils, stating that he will pay N5, 000 monthly stipends to the widows in his constituency, noting that he would move motion on building of Ojo General Hospital at the floor of the House.
The lawmaker explained that the members of the State Assembly had discussed the road problem in the state with the Governor and which he had personally submitted two roads in the constituency to the Governor for rehabilitation.
He stated further that from next year five boreholes would be constructed in the 5 wards of the constituency, stressing that since the commencement of the 8th Assembly in June, 28 resolution have been passed, covering a broad range of socio economic, political and other issues pertaining to the welfare of Lagosians.
Hon Akande who is the Chairman House Committee on Central Business District (CBD) stated “it is in consonance with the effort of the Assembly to give meaning to good representation and good governance that we have decided to organise this Constituency Stakeholders Meeting to enable us sit together to meet minds and obtain firsthand information concerning the state of affairs and assess the level of development and needs of the people”
One of the recipients of the computers and the Physical Education Teacher of Isashi Senior Grammar School, Mr Adeshina Ganiu, eulogised the lawmaker for giving out such material, stating that the computer will be used to teach the students on computer programming.
Hon. Sokunle Olushola Hakeem, The lawmaker representative of Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 1 of Lagos State House of Assembly, has task stakeholders in the constituency to unite for a cause; the progress of Oshodi-Isolo.
The lawmaker made this statement at the stakeholders’ at his own meeting.
Hon. Sokunle urged the stakeholders including the youth, women, traditional leaders, political and religious leaders to point out their needs and expectations from the government of which could be included in the 2016 budget of the Lagos State Government.
The Executive Secretary, Oshodi-Isolo LG/LCDA, Hon. Adeola Daudu also stated that the meeting could be identified as the first of its kind in the history of Lagos state.
According to him, Oshodi has its peculiarity and encompasses people with differences and diversities, therefore the task before our representative is quite enormous.
“Let’s put aside our differences and unite for one cause which is the progress of Oshodi-Isolo Constituency” Adeola said.
The lawmaker in his keynote speech stressed that the citizens represented by the stakeholders should not discriminate due to differences in party in other to benefit from from the ruling government in Lagos State.
Identifying the major needs of the citizen (road, health and empowering the idle hands), Sokunle promised to present it before the Lagos State House of Assembly for deliberation.
Prior to the perception that the people have about Oshodi-Isolo as a criminal haven, Hon. Sokunle however promised to change the orientation of youths in the area by engaging them in empowerment programme, the popular saying that an idle hand is devil’s workshop.
Among the stakeholders present is the Elewu of Ewu land, Oba Shakiru Kuti, the rep Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Oshodi leaders, Pa S.A Okanlawon, All Progressive Congress (APC) Oshodi rep, Hon. Waheed Adeyinka, others include Arewa comunity leaders, South-South Community leaders, Igbo Community Leaders, NURTW, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), market men and women among others.
The Lagos Mainland1 representative, Hon. Oladele Adekanye stressed the peculiarities of the youths in nation building at the stakeholders meeting in his constituency. He noted that constant interaction with the people they represent will strengthen participatory governance in the state. While calling on the youths in the area to shun violence and embrace peace, the lawmaker promised to continue to empower them, to make them self reliant. The people on their part, called for the establishment of a general hospital, good road network, power and policies to better the lot of persons living with disabilities.
Hon. Abiodun Tobun representing Epe 1 constituency, reiterated his poise to hasten infrastructural development in his area.
The experienced lawmaker affirmed his resolve at the town hall meeting, “the decision to reach out to our constituency and other group is borne out of our desire to deepen the democratic culture, as well as facilitate participatory governance in the state, five years back no electricity here but now power supply is intact owing to frantic effort from my office”.