-Councilors alleged council chairmen of opposing initiative
-It is a welcome development that must be supported, says Ikorodu LG Chairman
It has been revealed that the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajiide Sanwo-Olu, has concluded plans to award contract of projects to the tune of N25million in each of the 377 wards across the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State.
THE IMPACT gathered that the projects are scheduled to be awarded through the 377 Councilors in the state as part of the Governor’s plans to give them sense of belonging and also empowered the grassroots political functionaries.
This, we gathered, was part of the outcome of the meeting that the Governor had with the local government lawmakers at the State House on Thursday, October 31.
It was also gathered that the governor has directed the Councilors to submit project proposals, especially on roads in their respective wards within a week.
It was also gathered that the Governor asked the Councilors to convene stakeholders’ meetings in their respective wards to determine projects that would be appealing to their constituents.
More so, the councilors were said to have been empowered to determine the projects to be executed where stakeholders are unable to agree.
The local lawmakers, THE IMPACT also gathered, had been seeking audience with the governor for a while but to no avail but surprisingly, signal came from the state house that the governor would be meeting them.
Sources among the councilors informed our reporter that the governor did not allow the councillors to speak during the meeting but that he told them that he was aware of their plights and assured them that he would address them.
It was also gathered that the Governor also pledged that he would henceforth relate directly with the Councilors and not through the Chairmen anymore.
“It was a fruitful meeting with our Excellency whom we have been trying to meet with for some time. Even though, we were not allowed to speak but he seemed to understand our plights”, a source at the meeting told THE IMPACT.
“He spoke as if he knew what are bothering us and did proffered solutions and also pledged to fulfilled them.
“The governor knew what we have been going through in the hands of the council chairmen who have been behaving as if they are the only elected officials at the council level and he promised us that things would change for the better”, the source added.
The source also confirmed the directive of the governor that each of the councilors should submit proposal for ward projects which would be executed between this year and 2020.
Another Councilor informed THE IMPACT that the governor’s invitation came as a surprise to them.
“Most of us did not believe it when we received the signal for the meeting with the governor because we have been trying to have audience with him for some time now. You all know what we went through under the previous administration” , he stated.
“Sincerely, I am yet to recover from the effects of the meeting. This is a governor that is not only professing to empower the people in the grassroots but also determined to practicalise it.
“He was direct and did not mince words about his determination to give us maximum support to enable us impact on our wards.
“The governor understands how we are being treated by the Council Chairmen and he’s ready to correct that and give power to the Councilors as major stakeholders as far as council administration is concerned”, he stated.
He alleged that many of the chairmen have been focusing on their re-election by starving them of fund so that some of them with ambitions and others in different political camps would not be empowered.
It was alleged that some of the Council Chairmen across the state have been making move to stall the Governor’s pledge to the lawmakers.
Some of the Councilors alleged that Chairmen opposed to the initiative have been lobbying some powerful forces to dissuade the governor from fulfilling his pledge to the Councilors.
THE IMPACT, also gathered that the Commissioner for Local Government, Yeye Yetunde Arobieke, who was one time the Council Chairman of Agboyi-Ketu LCDA is in support of the Governr’s initiative.
It was gathered that the Commissioner is fully backing the Governor’s decision to award projects at the ward level which she said would help in making the people at the grassroots to feel the impacts of his administration.
Arobieke, we gathered , met with some political leaders on Monday, November 4, and briefed them on the need to give support to the Governor’s directive to the Councilors.
According to source who informed THE IMPACT about the meeting, the political leaders are expected to convince others to support the Governor’s initiative in the interest of developments.
We also gathered that, some of the political leaders have also been lobbying Councilors for consideration for the projects.
When contacted on the allegation of the council chairmen’s opposition to the governor’s directive to the Councilors, Hon Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, denied the allegation.
He stated that the Governor’s initiative is a welcome development which must be supported by everybody.
“I have not heard of anybody opposing such initiative. It is a welcome idea that would bring development to all the council areas of the state”, Hon. Adeshina stated.
“In Ikorodu Local Government, we have started planning with some of our councilors to ensure that they pick impacting projects that would benefit the masses”, he told our reporter on phone.
A council chairman in Ikorodu Constituency II, who spoke with our reporter on phone, also denied knowledge of the development.