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, providing a platform for people to ask questions on matters that affect them, and strengthening the capacity of citizens to advance government accountability at the local government level. The meeting had in attendance youth representatives from the various wards in the local government. Discussions were centred on empowerment, scholarship/bursary, financial loan support, and other social amenities that can be provided by the local government to support community growth and development and to also reduce the crime rate in the society.
The youth leader from Mahin 1 lamented that youths in their community did not benefit enough from the scheme while other youths also supported the motion. Youth restiveness was also a serious concern as many related that to the high level of insecurity in the local government. Most of their people live in fear. Cases of gang rivalry fights, militancy, and other antisocial activities are prevalent in the community. The youth also affirmed that the police within their communities could not curtail most of these crimes. Unemployment was cited as the major cause of these nefarious acts within that community as it leads to frustration thereby making the youth vulnerable to antisocial individuals that take advantage of them.
The citizen journalist encouraged them to learn skills and embrace self-employment, participate in government programs and try to be agents of change within their communities . He advised them to champion peace and promote the spirit of “leave no one behind”, equality and support the democratic system most especially at the grassroots level.
In conclusion, the youth pledged to support the fight against unlawful possession of arms by youth, antisocial behaviours, and youth involvement in violence. A group photograph was taken at the end of the meeting and refreshments were served to participants.
Critical Issues Raised During the Meeting
- The local government officials are not accessible to the people.
- Dilapidated classroom building.
- The local government officials are hostile in their engagement with the citizens.
- Irregular scholarship/bursary disbursement to youth in education.
- Financial loan support to youth
- Crime rate and unemployment
- The citizens agreed to continue to use the various opportunities available to engage the local government and councillors to express their grievances to the government.
- The youth pledge to expose anybody among them that is involved in criminal acts and support the local government in championing peaceful co-existence among the people.
Lessons for Future Engagements
- Holding meetings at the ward level enables easy participation by the people.
- A collective voice can be used to change negative societal issues.
Below are pictorial representations of the participants.