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Lagos Councils and the Rough Edges Ahead


By Lanre Adesanya

Since the emergence of elected executive Chairmen in the 20 constitutionally recognized Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), having been duly sworn-in by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to take charge of local government administration in Lagos State, the controversial third-tier of government has not been devoid of the hassle of governing effectively without distractions.

Given that the ruling party All Progressives Congress(APC) allegedly won the whole 57 chairmanship slots in the last month, has raised lots of dust that refused to go away even by a wipe of many dusters.

As the case stands, formerly each of the 20 councils in existence in Lagos state since the days of former Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu (1999-2007) used to have six supervisors but these arrangement change in the days of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (2007-2015) as it was increased to nine, namely Supervisor for;Education, Agric,Health,Environment,Market for Internal Generation of Revenue, Women and Poverty Alleviation,Works,Budgets and Chieftaincy.

These arrangement held sway in the councils as a reflection of what obtains at the state level,for good governance to be felt at the third tier, many achievements were recorded back then.

In this era of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, an accountant par excellence, there has been a clear cut shift of the paradigm, as the council executive cabinet arrangement has been trimmed down to just five.

Information gathered from reliable source revealed that Governor Ambode, furious by the fact that he was merely given the opportunity of influencing who becomes chairman in a number of councils in the July council poll, made a go at their cabinet size, stating that he wants to influence who becomes the Secretary to Local Government and two other supervisors, leaving the chairman and other stakeholders within the ruling party to make do with the emergence process of the remaining three supervisors.

The Governor intends to through the arrangement have a grip of the grassroots early enough, with a bid to set in motion structures that will pave his way and ease for him the possibility of returning as Governor for the second term in 2019.

Many of the chairmen are not quite comfortable with this development, aside the fact that 18 LGA chairmen that were  returned by the party prior the primaries, though forced down the throat of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and sanctioned by APC national leader Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

State Lawmaker representing Ifako Ijaiye LGA,Hon. Dayo Saka Fafunmi, in a jaw-jaw session with estranged council legislators

Ambode is largely dealt with by that move, in that 18 out of 20 LGAs that officially draws fund monthly from the federation account are not in his control – the 37 LCDA really not yet captured in the constitution. This is also problematic for the Governor and he is making frantic efforts to rewrite the equation.

Recalcitrant council that may want to stick to their guns with respect to this development may have axe to grind with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode going forward.

Many of the councils already have jitters running down their spines as the legislative arm of Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA is at the moment non functional; they are yet to have a plenary session owing to aggrieved councillors already spoiling for war.

The infighting at Ifako-Ijaiye LGA as well as that of Ojokoro LCDA is another perspective of the spreadsheet, at some point it took the intervention of  state lawmakers before they could agree to form a quorum at plenary.

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