Low Voters Turnout For Lagos LG Elections; A Bad Omen For True Federalism?
The Local government is as important as the federal government if not more.
This is the third tier of government that is given the responsibility of providing basic political/societal needs. It is supposed to ensure the security and well being of people at the local level. It’s responsible for the provision of such amenities as rural roads, local market, pipe-borne water (na land mark achievement to some state governors), primary education as well as settlement dispute at the local level. Its judicial process at the customary no doubt is faster and more people-friendly than the federal and state judiciary.
I am of the opinion that the local government is sacrosanct and irreplaceable, but the reason(s) it is considered irrelevant by most Nigerians is unfathomable. We seem to regard a local government council as a ceremonial gathering of friends of the Governor/King. We behold it as that entity that serves no purpose, hence its manipulation by state governments.
The position of the local government cannot be overemphasized. The constitution in section 7 mandates every state to ensure the existence of local government councils under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.
What we see today is the reluctance of state governors to permit local government existence in their states or otherwise manipulate the process just to have some loyal puppets as Chairmen and Councilors.
The recently concluded Local government election in Lagos is adjudged not encouraging due to the low turn out.
Our attitude to this election is very poor. It implies that the democratic principle of popular participation is an illusion and it poses threat to rural/regional development as well as our actualization of true federalism.
Our nonchalance toward the election permits the Chairmen and Councilors to misrepresent us in the economic and political planning of our community. It shows we are not concerned about the funds allocated to the councils therefore excuse their squandering, unaccountability and lackadaisicalness. We are indirectly saying the community projects are of no importance to us.
The local government has become a boot-hill where incompetence, illiteracy and un-seriousness are deposited.
The incompetence, un-seriousness and carelessness witnessed in state governments start from the local government. These acts follow them to the federal level and they dishonorably exhibit frivolities.
What is your attitude towards the local government and its election? You can as well rate your local government.