I bring warm greetings to the wonderful good people of Ibadan North Local Government. As the local government elections draw nearer, we are hopeful of a successful outing – no doubt about that. But as an individual with little experience in grassroots politics, I want to call the attention of my incoming local government chairman, Hon. Oluwaseun Olufade, who had his major political break-in at the last PDP local government primaries, to a few things, which I believe would serve as a guide.
Olufade, having had the major support of the party loyalists at home and abroad, we can boldly say he is deemed fit to wear the crown. But then, he needs not to be distracted by the show of love from all and sundry. It is the norm for every politician to sing the praise of who is perceived as the most sought-after or the chosen one. Nobody relates with a loser, everybody wants to associate with the champion. Yes, we all want to be seen as a friend to the first man. It is natural.
Be that as it may, politicians praise you but hang on to slam you at the slightest opportunity they have. You need to define your position and state it clearly to those who will be working with you, including your vice chairman, who in turn becomes the political head of Aare Latosa LCDA; the local government secretary, who will be heading the Irepodun LCDA and not leaving the councilors, supervisory councilors and the Special Assistants.
Now, let me share my experience – the majority of those who occupy these positions have nothing less of an expectation than to fill their holes. Yes, the beauty of attaining a political position aside from working for the people, financial improvement is expected because you are being paid to do what you do.
From my observation in the political circle, there will always be a clash of interests in terms of governance, most especially with the LCDA political positions. Over time, this has left the council to appear like a stagnant institute, where everyone just wants to prove a point with his or her position, neglecting the fact that the elected chairman is the only recognized head under the constitution and must be regarded irrespective of individual’s interest.
I can recall several occasions where allocations were being deliberated upon for joint projects that would be visible and spread across zones of the local government but the political head of LCDA, the Secretary, cried out objecting to the idea. Instead, they want the money shared among each office and end up doing the minimal projects that a supervisory Councillor in his capacity can spearhead.
I will use this medium to appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters not to relent in the efforts at sensitizing our office-holders on the need to cooperate with the Executive Chairman for effective and impactful governance towards the electorate.
Lastly, my incoming Chairman needs to understand that political leaders need not be undermined, bearing in mind they are your source of emergence. I want to urge that you keep watering that area for smooth sailing while in office. Kindly maintain the synergy, which must, at no time, be interrupted irrespective of differences. See them as major stakeholders.
Sir, I hope this pieces of advice meet you well as it is a pure opinion based on the reality of the past. I have tried to put this together as a guide, being a son of the soil and for the love of my great local government, Ibadan North. I wish you well and a fruitful tenure in office.
Writes from Ward 10, Ibadan North Local Government.