21st March 2023 | Community Town Hall Meeting
Adewoleoye Abimbola: Councilor Ward 4
Akinnaso Ige: Councilor Ward 5
High Chief Apostle Olusotoye: Community Leader
Citizen Journalist: Ayokunle Henry
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. The meeting was held in ward 4 of the local government with the presence of Hon. Adewoleoye Abimbola and Hon. Akinnaso as the councilors representing ward 4 and ward 5 respectively. The occasion was also graced with the presence of the High Chief Apostle Olusotoye and women leaders in the ward. The community journalist used the opportunity of the presence of these stakeholders to present major issues around local government development. He also raised concern about the status of youth participation in the continuous voters’ registration and stated the need to address the dilapidated condition of structures and amenities in secondary and primary schools at the local government.
The women at the meeting complained about the risk their children pass through in crossing the expressway to go to school which makes most parents withdraw their wards from government schools and enrolled them in private schools. The women also lamented the non-availability of health facilities and shortage of staff at the health centre. This creates a challenge in providing medical care for their children when they fall sick. They had to travel to a neighboring village for proper medical care. The women pleaded with the two councilors to take their demand at the meeting to the chairman for quick action.
In conclusion, the community journalist encouraged all to take advantage of the continuous voters’ registration exercise to register and collect their PVC and this is the power that will enable them to choose a leader that will represent them. The councilor from ward 4 also pleaded with the people to be patient and promise to convey their message to the chairman. The High Chief also advised the community residents to embark on self-help projects as this has been done in some communities and issues of basic interests like the construction of classrooms was resolved. He said all cannot be left to the government alone, that the people as well need to contribute their own quota towards the growth and development of their local government.
Critical Issues Raised During the Meeting
- Dilapidated classroom
- 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.
- Low turnout for the Continuous voters’ registration exercise.
- 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.
Lessons for Future Engagements
- 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 are pictorial representations of the participants.