8th February 2023 | Community Town Hall Meeting
PASTOR TEMITOPE OLUWARANTI: RELIGIOUS LEADER
MR. IDOWU AKINYELURE: CHAIRMAN LANDLORD ASSOCIATION
Summary of the Meeting
The town hall meeting was aimed at educating the citizens on the constitutional roles of local government officials. The meeting also provided a platform for people to ask questions on matters that affect them, strengthening the capacity of citizens to advance government accountability at the local government level.
In his declarative speech, the citizens’ journalist representing Owo local government in persons of Mrs. Alamudun Busola, urged participants to think of how they can contribute to the growth and development of their community through active participation in governance issues. He emphasized the importance of trust, honesty, and modesty in governance, enjoining citizens to elect leaders who are known to be fair and just.
Mr. Akerele Olushola, the chairman of the landlord association further cautioned the people to stop overburdening the local government officials on issues outside the constitutional provision of their roles and responsibilities. He emphasized that the government alone at all levels cannot provide all that the citizens require from it without citizens’ active participation in good governance. During the meeting, participants were educated to note that the community should determine what the sole administrator of the Local Government should do through their Ward Councilors.
Additionally, the meeting was aimed at discouraging citizens from selling their votes during elections.
During the meeting, the dangers of vote-trading for Nigerian politics, democracy, and development were highlighted, while proffering solutions to these challenges. It was noted that vote-buying is a criminal act according to the law and deliberate creation of poverty by politicians to enable them to occupy their desired political offices.
Also, citizens expressed their concerns that politics has now become the only available job for politicians, hence that increases the rate of vote-buying. While many stated that poverty was one of the reasons why people sell their votes during elections, the citizens as well noted that poor awareness against voter inducement was helping vote-buying to gain grounds in Nigerian elections, lamenting that the National Orientation Agency was not sensitizing citizens enough on dangers of vote-buying.
Critical Issues Raised During the Meeting
- The local government officials are not accessible to the people.
- The Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and the primary schools in the local government area are in a very bad state.
- The local government officials are hostile in their engagement with the citizens.
- The high rate of invasion by Fulani Herdsmen to farmers on their farmland.
- The citizens agreed to continue to use the various opportunities available to engage the local government and councilors to express their grievances to the government.
- The citizens resort to working cooperatively with men of the Amotekun and Vigilante squad in the various communities.
Lessons for Future Engagements
- We should create more time for the question and answer session between LG officials and citizens.
- Working more with community institutions such as churches, mosques, traditional leaders and other opinion groups will help in creating lasting solutions to national issues.
Below is a pictorial representation of the participants.
Below are pictorial representations of the participants.
CITIZEN JOURNALIST: OJUOPE SUNDAY