Chairman of Ikorodu Oga Development Association, IKODASS, the umbrella bodies of all Ikorodu based socio-cultural organizations, Otunba Ganiyu Okusegun Abiru has demanded for better political patronage and appointment consideratiins for Ikorodu indigenes under the newly inaugurated Babajide Sanwoolu administration in Lagos State.
Abiru noted that this was necessary for the ruling APC and the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu to reciprocate the unalloyed loyalty and massive votes received by the ruling party from the division, particular;y in the last 2019 general elections where the local government came third among other 20 local governments in the State.
‘Everyone of us here seated will agree with me that Ikorodu and its indigenes have not been well favoured in the governance of Lagos State. Nothing in Ikorodu shows the presence of Government while other Divisions are witnessing tremendous infrastructural developments, Ikorodu remains neglected despite our massive population which unofficially is over 3 million people. Our schools are in ignoble condition state of disrepair, inadequacy of hospitals to take care of our population while our roads are worst in the entire Division of the State’, he said.
‘We call on the present Administration to redress the situation. As a body charged with the responsibility of ensuring accelerated developments of the kingdom, we call on the present administration to infrastructurally transform Ikorodu Division and remember its indigenes in the State political appointments. Ikorodu indigenes can no longer be hewers of woods and drawers of water in a comity where it is a strategic stakeholder, Abiru noted’
Taking a swipe at the present Ikorodu local government administration, he stressed that, ‘it is indeed worrisome that our Local Government which is the tier of government that is supposed to be very close to the people, but paradoxically, is very far away from those they are supposed to look after. All of them are complaining of inadequacy of funds to execute projects, while those that are executing projects have not altruistically prioritized. Projects will be meaningful if they will be beneficial to the greatest number of people living in that Community. What I see as the albatross of our Local Governments’ leadership is their penchant to play to the gallery with less impactful projects’.
On revenue collection Abiru posied that, ‘For the Local Government to deliver the dividend of democracy, the Institution must revisit its method of revenue collection. A system where a Local Government contracts out its revenue collection to inexperienced people, politicians, cronies or relatives is not only a disservice to the Institution but to the people of that Community. The use of this category of people is responsible for the several leakages being experienced in the revenue generation and collection activities of the Local Governments. I am not essentially opposed to the use of Consultants, however, I will suggest that this responsibility should either be left for the Civil Servants who have a career to pursue or professional consultants with credible antecedents and professional background’.
‘We cannot continue to run government as a personal fiefdom. The time to change is now because when the day of reckoning comes, Ikorodu people will decide what is good for them. Our Local Government Chairman must be creative and innovative to meet the challenges of the present day socio-economic and political realities. We all should know that our politics is wearing a new improved colour while the electorates are getting enlightened by the day, he added.
Speaking further, he said, N’o politician, No government, No political party will ever take Ikorodu for a ride again. Those days of blind loyalty were gone. Politicians that would not put our interest at the front burner would no longer be entertained and accepted, he submitted.
Speaking on the funding of the Association, Abiru noted that IKODASS was not a revenue making Association and the little money being generated through donations are ploughed back to render services to the Community and bring hope to the despaired which according to him put the body in a tight financial position.
He therefore appealed for the cooperation of member-clubs and associations that the sale of Ankara is most likely to commence in August and it will be N2,500 per 6yards, adding that there were lots of beneficial programmes that the body want to introduce and in the course.
Speaking on the plans for the 2019 Ikorodu Oga Day celebration, Abiru hinted that IKODASS will have its own cultural dance group while the celebration of the festival will not be restricted to Ikorodu central. He noted that Ikorodu West and North will have a feel of the yearly events from 2019.
He concluded by reiterating that IKODASS will continue to champion the cause of its members while ensuring that they are not deprived of their legitimate rights in this present dispensation.