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Local Govt Chairmen Are these the most irresponsible politicians around?

We point the finger at everyone else but the local government Chairman or lawmakers representing us at State levels.

  • Published:
Flood in VGC play

Flood in VGC

(Pulse )

The roads and streets in the neighborhood where I recently pitched tent in suburban Lagos, have finally caved in to the endless Lagos rains.

These days, my car is half drenched in red mud by the time I navigate the poor thing into the driveway.

It’s a familiar tale around Lagos whenever the rainy season comes around.

Lagos, the city of floods play

Lagos, the city of floods

(informationng)

 

The drainage in Lagos, unkempt and spilling over with plastic waste, prevent the flow of rainwater.

What ensues is an avalanche of flood and dilapidated roads around Lagos, between March and September annually.

We know this will happen, but do nothing to prevent the looming anarchy throughout the dry season.

Last week, tired of swimming to my doorstep and tired of blaming Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for my predicament, I approached the Akara seller down the street to point me to the office of the local government Chairman in charge of my neighborhood.

I was going to tell the fella of a Chairman off.

Fat chance. He had no idea who that was.

I took a stroll around the place, asking just about everyone I thought should know who the local government Chairman is.

Safe to say, I still await an answer.

I was no better, because I had to resort to good ol’ Google to find out who the chap is.

I have also quizzed folks around on who our representatives at the Lagos State House of Assembly are. No one knows. No one cares, to put it mildly.

Lagos State House of Assembly play

Lagos State House of Assembly

(Google)

 

“Na only election time wey we dey see them”, folks have told me insouciantly on one too many occasion. “Dem dey even pass this bad road sef go their house and office”.

Back in Social Studies class, we were taught that we have three tiers of government in Nigeria - Federal government, State government and Local government.

But you’ll be forgiven for thinking that we have only two tiers of government these days.

For while we can easily scream the names of our State Governors and the name of the President, we are not likely to know who our Local Government Chairman is.

We point the finger at everyone else but the local government Chairman or lawmakers representing us at State levels.

We are giving these guys a free pass and they are getting off lightly.

ALSO READ: Is Kogi about to disgrace its senator?

Actually, the problem could all boil down to a lack of fiscal federalism. Each month, the federal government disburses monies to State Governors who in turn hand out a fraction to local government Chairmen - sometimes not enough money to fix roads, build schools, pay teachers or fix primary healthcare centers.

Some State Governors hardly recognize the local government as a tier of government. Most Chairmen I have had the opportunity of interacting with in the past, say they are too cash-strapped to embark on any meaningful development projects.

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode play

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode

(Premium Times)

 

So, we are left with a scenario where the local governments just pay salaries, deal with affidavits and everyone goes home.

Redundancy.

Like the other tiers of government, local governments are rent and tax collectors. No one wants to be innovative and generate enough revenue to implement programs and policies.

The failure of the local government system points to a failure of the rest of the country. Because in theory, the local government should be the most important tier of government, given that it is closest to the people.

But it isn't.

Councillors just drive government cars, wreck same and organise 'owambes' every other weekend; while screaming at the top of their alcohol drenched lungs.

The local government system is broken because Nigeria is broken.

So, in the end, we blame Buhari, Ambode, Amosun, Ganduje, Tambuwal, Wike, Osinbajo, Okowa, Obiano, Ishaku, Dankwambo, Umahi and every minister in Abuja for problems the local government Chairman should be fixing.

Somewhere at the local pub, your LG Chairman is busy quaffing beer and toasting minors. 

This week, I have lost my car bumper to bad roads.

A flooded area in Lagos play

A flooded area in Lagos

(thenigerianvoice)

 

I am going to look for my local government Chairman and ask him what offence we've committed in Surulere, car bumper in tow.

Oh, by the way, I know my LG Chairman now. His name is Mr. Razaq O. Folami and his office is on 24, Alhaji Masha Street, Surulere Lagos. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.

Did I hear you say I cheated through Google?

Yes, I did.

Go cheat your own. Know your LG Chairman today.

It’s time to also pay attention to local government elections and take the exercise a lot more seriously.

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