‘Local councils should be made to work for those at the grassroots’
The failure of Nigeria’s smallest political units, the local government councils, to work for the improvement of lives of those at the grassroots has been blamed for the country’s lack of development. And unless the councils are strengthened with the right structures, including electing visionary leaders, those at the local levels would continue to lack the dividends of democracy.
These were the views of a grassroots politician and aspirant to the chairmanship position of Ojodu Local Council Development Area, Mr. Mayowa Adebola, at a recent sensitisation function in the area. He said youth energy and talent in Nigeria were wasting away unused because they were not being harnessed and put to proper use at the local council areas, lamenting that it was largely the cause of restiveness, kidnapping and other forms of criminality across the country.
Adebola, therefore, sued for the election of leaders at the third tier of government, who understand the need to convert such youthful energy and talent to better use through the provision of incentives and infrastructure of engagement.
According to him, when elected, “I want to make direct impact in the daily lives of my people. The local government is the closest to the people and this is where they can feel the effect of governance the most. I want to meaningfully engage the youths in my LCDA through skills acquisition and entrepreneurial training. Majority of the people are energetic individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 and are mainly uneducated and unemployed. I want to implement programmes that will direct this energy into sustainable enterprises”.
Adebola noted that politicians at the grassroots, over the years, failed the test of critical thinking on how to better engage with their environments and bring up transformative programmes for the people they pretend to represent or lead.
“I believe that politics should be based on issues,” the U.K.-trained Laboratory Technician noted. “What do the people need? What are they yearning for? If you are able to think critically about this and proffer adequate solutions, whether directly or indirectly, whether you are at the forefront or in the background. This is what I believe success in politics should be about.
“I hope to use this great opportunity to serve and achieve my vision of creating an enabling environment, where all residents of Ojodu LCDA can thrive. I decided to enter into politics in order to inject fresh ideas into the polity even at the lowest level. I’m a member of All Progressives Congress (APC); I chose to contest on this platform because I am a progressive. After carefully studying the party manifesto and comparing it with that of the Action Group (AG) during Obafemi Awolowo’s era, I am convinced that it fits my political ideology.”
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