The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has sworn in the 57 newly elected chairmen and vice-chairmen of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDA), just as he charged the Chairmen to introduce policies and programmes that would ensure even development across their councils.
Sanwo-Olu said that the chairmen should complete all existing projects within their councils and engage in activities that would ensure they surpass the legacies of their predecessors, saying that is the expectations of the people that elected you.
The governor, while describing Local Governments as the closest tier of government to the people, stated that the expectations of every resident of Lagos from the newly elected chairmen particularly during this COVID-19 era were that they would introduce programmes that can ameliorate the challenges brought by virus after spreading to the country.
The governor, who sworn in the chairmen in Ikeja on Tuesday, stressed that any shortcomings on the part of Local Government administration, considering its closeness to Lagosians, would be keenly felt by the people across the state.
He noted that the administrative and financial autonomy being enjoyed by the councils in the state for about two decades was not granted to achieve a bottom-up growth model and for the acceleration of coordinated development across the State.
The party’s overwhelming victory at the polls, Sanwo-Olu pointed out, yet again demonstrated Lagosians’ faith in All Progressives Congress (APC), urging the council chairmen to uphold the people’s confidence and reciprocate the trust by prioritizing the welfare of their citizens in decision making.
The Governor advised the chairmen not to consider the position as an opportunity to eliminate their political opponents, but to use their energy to work for the people that have elected them last Saturday.
Earlier, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, said the chairmen’s victory at the polls, did not come as a surprise, but as a testimony to the solidity, strength, internal democracy and unity of the APC, despite little trickles of dissent.
He said the robust party support that they all enjoyed, coming collectively from party members, vividly told the story of systemic dynamism, and deep political understanding, that always enables the APC to emerge stronger and more united, from what looked like challenging situations.
“My dear honourable chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, now you have clinched the coveted seats and work has begun in earnest. It’s important you remember that APC derives its popularity and grassroots support from its performance and constant delivery of dividends of democracy to the people.
“It is no gain-say, that Government exists because of the people and it will continue to exist because of the people. This is why your re-election/election is another call to a season of service, dedication, and selflessness to our people,” he said.
Ahmed added that the task ahead of them was to sustain or even surpass the tempo of performance of previous administrations in their respective council areas.
“We expect that the scope of delivery by this crop of honourable chairmen and vice-chairmen would cover all sectors and sub-sectors, in tune with the THEMES Agenda of our dear Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
“You are the third-tier of government and the closest to the grassroots. You have emerged only by the will and mandate of the electorates, it behooves on you to ensure that the electorate enjoys the dividends that true democracy brings,” he stated.
Ahmed charged the council chairmen on inclusive governance, saying that in any human organization, there would always be dissenting voices based on individual dispositions and preferred choices.
“But having crossed the bridge, we remain as one in togetherness like our symbolic broom. I, therefore, enjoin all our chairmen, to carry everyone along in governance; the women; the youths, and even those who supported the other camps, APC is one,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the elected chairmen, Sesan Daini from Igbogbo-Baiyeku said the chairmen would not disappoint the governor but would work to complement the THEMES agenda of the government.