Council Functionaries Charged On Constitutional Responsibilities, Life After Office

Wale Jagun & Mariam Akinloye

-As Supervisors, Special Advisers in Ikorodu honour leaders, council bosses

Oba Bashir Shotonwa, the Sekumade of Ipakodo presenting an award to Sir (Prince) Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State at the LSSIKD Award Dinner at AiRoyal Hotels, Aga, Ikorodu. With them, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, Otunba Amid Oduborisha, Dr Saheed Ibikunle, council chairmen and other guests

What was planned as an avenue to round – off the week long activities in commemoration of the Lagos State Supervisors and Special Advisers, Ikorodu Division Forum’s (LSSIKDF) week and an atmosphere to wine and dine, turned out to be forum where Supervisory Councilors and Special Advisers in Ikorodu Councils were charged on the need to ensure that they are alive to their responsibilities in the last few months remaining in their four years mandate.

The Council functionaries were also guided on the challenges after political office and the need to prepare themselves for sustainable exit.

The well – attended LSSIKDF Week Award, which took place at the AiRoyal Hotels, Aga, Ikorodu, was attended by traditional, political, community, business and youth leaders.

At the dinner, chieftains of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) : Sir (Prince) Abiodun Ogunleye, KJW, former Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, First Secretary to the Lagos State Civilian Government and Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, KJW, former Minister of Works, were presented and honoured for their selfless services and political emancipation of youths in Ikorodu.

Exemplary leadership awards for outstanding performance, selfless services towards youth developments and political emancipation of Ikorodu Division and beyond, were also presented to Senator Tokunbo Abiru, Senator representing the Lagos East and Rep. Babajimi Benson, representative of Ikorodu Federal Constituency.

Also honoured with Meritorious Awards were the six Council Chairmen in Ikorodu Division : Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman, Ikorodu LG, Hon. Sulaimon Kazeem Olanrewaju, Chairman, Ikorodu West LCDA, Hon. Motunrayo Gbadebo – Alogba, Chairman, Ijede LCDA, Builder Adebisi Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA and Hon. Wasiu Agoro, Chairman, Imota LCDA.

His Royal Majesties, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, Bashir Shotonwa and Dr Saheed Ibikunle with some of the Supervisory Councilors and Special Advisers

Otunba Amid Adekunle Oduborisha, the immediate past President, Oriwu Club, Ikorodu, who chaired the occasion, speaking, highlighted and enlightened the Supervisory Councilors and Special Advisers in Ikorodu councils.

He added that the appointments of the council’s functionaries are to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the local administration, especially in the area of service delivery to the people in the grassroots.

“Practical experience has shown that the responsibilities of Supervisory Councilors are diverse and impactful. They are political heads of their designated departments, responsible for supervising day – to – day operations, representing the Council in their respective departments, and providing directives to Heads of Departments, on policy matters”, he said.

“Furthermore, Supervisory Councilors play crucial role in coordinating relationships between their departments and others, presenting departmental proposals to the Council and the Finance and General Purposes Committee. They act as spokespersons for their departments in debates and in the presentation of reports, bridging the communication gap between the council and the various departments they supervise.

“In addition, maintaining positive relationships with the heads and staff of their departments is paramount, fostering a collaborative atmosphere essential for effective governance. Their role as intermediaries between departments and the Council, is instrumental in ensuring that policies are effectively communicated and implemented.

“Also, the Chairman of a Local Government or Local Council Development Area, may also appoint any individual as a Special Adviser to assist in the performance of his functions.

Dr Saheed Ibikunle presenting an award to Hon. Sulaimon Kazeem Olanrewaju, Chairman, Ikorodu West LCDA

“The role of a Special Adviser is typically to offer specialized advice, insights, and support in areas that may require expertise beyond the Chairman’s scope. This could include policy formulation, strategic planning, or addressing particular challenges that the Local Government or Local Council Development Area, may be facing.

“The appointment of a Special Adviser is a way for the Chairmen to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their leadership by leveraging the skills and knowledge of someone with relevant experience. It also reflects the recognition that successful governance often requires a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, with input from individuals who bring diverse perspective and expertise to the decision – making process”, Otunba Oduborisha said.

While calling for collaborative and partnership between the council bosses and their appointees, Otunba Oduborisha warned against turning Supervisory Councilors and Special Advisers to errand guys or people that are just in their cabinet to make up numbers, rather, he charged that they should be treated as partners in bringing about good governance to the people.

“I would implore you all to work in collaboration with your Chairmen and be instrumental in formulating policies, implementing projects that will address the need of our people”, the occasion’s chairman said.

“I would like to earnestly urge the Local Government Chairmen to consider the Supervisory Councilors and Advisers not merely as subordinates to hiring and firing, but as integral partners in the ongoing development of our beloved Local Government.

Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman Igbogbo Bayeku LCDA displaying his award at the dinner. With him, Hon. Gbenga Oshin and members of the forum

“As we bestowed well – deserved awards upon individuals who have performed excellently, let us not only celebrate their achievements, but also reflect on the broader significance of their roles in local governance. The success of our local government depends on the commitment and competence of leaders like the Supervisory Councilors and Special Advisers”, he said.

Dr Saheed Ibikunle, Permanent Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), who delivered a paper on, ‘The power of leadership and positioning in politics’, said that Ikorodu has highly revered leaders who are qualified to be referenced as efficient and positional leaders.

While stating that one does not have to be in position to be a leader, the guest speaker cited recent scenarios : #EndSARS and #Obidient, to emphasized how people were provided effective leadership by connecting them across the country, mobilized and conducted their affairs simultaneously with serious impacts that almost consumed the country and All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general elections.

Ibikunle, who is also the Special Adviser to Senator Abiru on Constituency Matters and also represented the Senator at the event, also stated that leadership is a process and activity, while also adding that leadership is about ability to influence people effectively.

He said that an effective leader must have integrity, communicate effectively, make decision that would allow you achieve a set goal.

“We need leaders that can actually assist us in this time; we need leaders that can make us to get to a place we all desired in Ikorodu. The forum is setting an agenda which they are driving towards”, he said.

Builder Adeola Banjo, Chairman Ikorodu North LCDA receiving award from Alhaji Musbau Gafaar

While speaking on positioning Ikorodu, Dr Ibikunle enjoined leaders to create positive perception for the people and place that they are leading. He also charged that there is need to reposition the APC and Ikorodu away from negative news to positive ones that will attract quality people and socio – economic developments.

He also charged the political appointees on the value they attract to themselves in office to deserve being given another mandate.

“As a Supervisor, if you are going for a second term, you must have been positioning yourself. What is your ideals to allow your leaders to believe that truly, you deserve to go back?’, he asked.

“We need to start another positioning of our party for the task ahead. We need to start rising up. You cannot be a leader in this period and not sharing what you have with the people but live in affluence. There is no how that they would follow you next time. You are not positioning yourself and your party in their minds”, Ibikunle said.

He charged Supervisors and Special Advisers to position themselves by helping their councils and party leaders in driving the party forward, adding that they must develop good leadership traits with positive perception that would allow them to position themselves and their party properly.

In his own contribution, the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State on Park Management, Mayor Muyideen Sanwoola, who spoke on, ‘Life After the Office’, stated that going into a political office involves planning and setting goal to be achieved and how to sustain relevance after the office.

Otunba Amid Oduborisha presenting an award to Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman Ikorodu LG.

He charged those intending to contest for council positions in the next few months, to be engaged and have something productive doing because, according to him, it is not all rosy in political office.

“Life after service is not all that rosy. It requires planning and this speech should have happened when you were resuming office about three years ago, but you still have a year and half to tidy things up so that life after service will be smooth sail for you”, he said.

“Assuming office has a failure rate of about 90% at the grassroots.

“Just because as Supervisors, you don’t spend money to get to where you are today, doesn’t mean that you are not going to plan. Two things are going to happen : it is either you get the second term or you don’t. So, if I were you, I would work based on one term and if you don’t get the second term, you will know that at least you have achieved something.

“I always tell people that they don’t go into the council and expect to get more than their salaries. That is the way to keep your sanity. If anything extra comes in, fine, if not, you still keep your head straight because at the end of the day, you were only hired to get your salary at the end of the month, you were not told that you are going to get extra”.

Mayor Sanwoola, who said that the era of godfathers or leaders sponsoring candidates for election is over or when only loyalty to a particular leader is the yardstick for consideration for councillorship or supervisory positions are over, charged the council appointees on the need to re-strategise and plan their exit in their remaining 18 months in office.

“You have couple of months to go and what people out there don’t know is that you are living paycheck to paycheck which means that by the time your salaries comes in, the bank pulls out the loan and you are left with about N50, 000. I will ask what did you used the loan for, hope that you used it judiciously?”, he queried.

“It is now time for you to start looking for an exit; what are you going to do after stepping down? And, please, don’t spend whatever you have as savings trying to get a second term.

“You need to re-strategise, start looking for an exit. When you started (as Supervisory Councilors), you didn’t have a why. Start writing your whys now: why am I even here? Why am I in this position? What do I want to accomplish in the next 18 months? What if I don’t get a second term? What do I do?

“18 months is a long time for someone that plans, but it is a short time for someone that doesn’t plan. If you plan, you have milestones and have plans of what to achieve every month of the next 18 months.

“You need to start drawing up plans. I know two of you that started their Masters when you assumed office. That’s a good strategy because they created time to study and develop themselves. If that is all you have after office, you know that you have something.

“In the next 18 months that you have remaining, I am going to implore that if you have a job before getting into the council, go back and make sure that you secure the job. If you were an artisan before getting the position, please, go back, get re-trained on the new ways of doing that job so that you can get jobs when you leave council”, the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Lagos charged.

His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, in his royal remarks, charged political leaders and office holders to respect traditional rulers more and give them deserved honours.

Adeboruwa hinted that the traditional rulers are not relenting on their clamour for constitutional recognition.

“The move for restructuring has started in terms of clamouring for constitutional roles for the traditional rulers and structure of the country’s system of governance, and I am sure that we are going to achieve that”, Oba Kasali said.

The royal father charged the Supervisors on the need to always be wise in executing their council’s policies.

Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and the apex political leader Ilin Ikorodu, also speaking, cautioned the political appointees on dignity and honour in all that they do.

Ogunleye, who served as Finance Commissioner during the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, also cautioned appointed and elected political office holders on the need to be pro – people and to always live within their means.

“The way we are doing it today (council administration) is different from the way we used to do it. We did not run away from the people. I know that circumstances are different today. Things were not so bad at that time but we kept our integrity, lived within our means and we gave what we could afford without running into troubles’, Prince Ogunleye said.

“I have contested elections and during the time, I managed myself and did not go beyond the budget. You will still suffer after election, especially if you don’t win, if you don’t go beyond your budget, the only thing is that keeping within it will not devastate you.

“If you are in office, don’t feel too big towards others, it is a temporary position. The moment you go in there and you feel that it is an exalted position, you will prepare yourself, but if you go there and behaved that it is exempted position, when you leave, you will be on your own”, the political leader warned.

Speaking on positioning as raised by one of the speakers, Prince Ogunleye said that Ikorodu people have reduced the Division from number two to number five in the state, a situation he blamed on the attitude of political actors.

“I am particular about the repositioning of Ikorodu. We used to be number two in the state but today, we are number five. I don’t know if anybody wants to dispute that. We are number five”, the former Deputy Governor stated.

“But we cannot blame those who are taking the decisions. To me, we have so much cheapen ourselves to other people outside the Ikorodu division. That is the truth. I heard that one of us left here and went to the party secretariat and started talking about me, coincidentally, Fuad Oki came in and he shut him up on the ground that the person he was talking about is respected across the state. The person that I was talking about is late now”.

Asipa kaoli Olusanya, former Vice Chairman, APC Lagos East Senatorial District, called for unity among the political leaders and groups.

He said that the party leaders are evolving a process that would not bring disunity and discord again among aspirants and groups.

Chairman, Ikorodu LG, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, commended the forum for the initiative, and charged them to always get their council’s programmes to the grassroots.

He thanked the two speakers for proffering ways to repositioned Ikorodu and charged leaders in Ikorodu to assist youths in their political developments.

Builder Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, congratulated the forum for what he termed milestone achievement, and charged them to do more of it. He also charged them to continue to give the council chairmen their maximum support.

The Publicity Secretary, Lagos State Council Chairmen’s Forum and Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Builder Sesan Daini, assured that the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA under his leadership, will continue to strive to do more on what he has been honoured and awarded for, especially on security.

He also assured that his council will do more, especially in curbing kidnapping cases.

Other dignitaries at the dinner event were HRM Oba Bashir Sotonwa, the Sekumade of Ipakodo, APC leader, Alhaji Musabu Gafaar, Representative Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Rep. Babajimi Benson represented by Mr Rasheed Aregbesola, Alajede – elect, Hon. Saheed Hassan Adefarasin, Vice Chairman, Ikorodu LG, Hon. (Dr ) Folashade Olabanji – Oba, Hon. Gbenga Oshin, former Member, Lagos State House of Assembly and Principal, Lagos State University (LASU), International School, Ojo, Lagos, Alhaji Taiwo Odumbo, among others.

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