Alhaji Abdulkareem Adewunmi Garba was a former state treasurer of Alliance for Democracy in Lagos and presently one of the Apex leaders in All Progressives Congress Party in Ajeromi local government. He spoke on wide range of issues in our discussion with him.
Security: In relation to people living in Alayabiagba where I stay, there is no problem because the security issues in the area are usually politically orchestrated and the people are seeking for their own rights and unfortunately they take the laws into their hands especially the grown up boys among them. They want things to come to their community especially development projects like infrastructures, they also want to have their quota of representation at the local and state levels. Unfortunately, in the process of seeking for these, they overstepped their bounds because they failed to understand that there is a limit to every right.
Again, they don’t know the take home pay of political office holders in the local government and that is why most times they accost these Supervisors, Councilors and Chairman for money. It is
Again, it could also depend on the type of leaders we have in the local government. Some of the political leaders we have here are not there to serve the people. Some of them are there to add to the suffering and hardship of the people. The issue those boys have are between them and their political representatives in government.
However, Ogbenwankwo and Arumoh gang up is a different ball game because they have no political undertones. In honesty, these security issues are not peculiar to Ajegunle alone, it is a national issue and it touches every state. The people before us and mostly our political leaders share in the blame for what is happening now because they encouraged these youths
to go and start demanding money from these politicians who in turn use them to perpetrate political violence. Would they prefer that the money that comes to the local government be shared or should it be used for infrastructural development?
My advice has always been that people should be satisfied with infrastructural development. They should stop going to the Chairman for money because when social responsibility services exceeds development, sincerely, the people are the greatest losers. Personally, I do not go the Council to ask for money and I do not expect the Council to give me money either, but I expect them to pay salaries on time and provide other social amenities to the people. So, I urge the people that are complaining to rather show the government the roads they want done or other amenities they want provided rather than expecting physical cash from government.
However, when declaring their intentions and during campaigns as well, some politicians will make promises to the electorate and even go as far as giving them cash. But after they are elected, they never get to fulfill their promises. I want to task you people, the journalists to find out from the people what amenities they want rather than say that people are complaining
and what they are complaining about. The people should also strive to know the financial capacity of the government.
Assessment of Ayoola’s government
previously, most State governments never made it easy for the local
governments, typically, during Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s era, the State will
request for donation of road to be done and they will take local
government funds and engage contractors with them. Most of the internally generated revenue has been taken over by the state without considering the populace which may result sooner or later to a clash between the State government and the local government, constitutionally, the state are expected to give 10% of the internally generated revenue to the local government but are they still doing that?
However, I score Ajeromi local government low because there are enough funds and resources for them to perform and the satisfaction of public expectation is still far-fetched. I will ask them to help the communities because what goes up must certainly come down and what
goes around comes around. Though in all sincerity, Ajeromi local government and Ifelodun LCDA are not performing badly at all. However, they should endeavor to improve on infrastructures like roads, street lights and security generally, in doing this; they should patronize the local contractors’ not always imported contractors.
Again, to enhance development, they should give what is due to politicians to them; they should not take what belongs to politicians to people outside the local government. It is things like this that contributes to insecurity issues. Using council money to empower people outside the community equally implies neglecting or relegating political leaders.
Finally, the people in government or political leaders should not encourage thugery because tomorrow when they are not in government, they will not have free money to sustain the thugs and you will see that they will be threatened by the same thugs. When you use money to
entice people and in the long run, you cannot maintain it, they will