SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF AMUWO ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE AT THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) STAKEHOLDERS FORUM ON THE DELINEATION OF CONSTITUENCIES AND CREATION OF ADDITIONAL POLING UNITS IN AMUWO ODOFIN LGA, ON THE 30TH OF JULY, 2013
BEING A TEXT OF A SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF AMUWO ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE AT THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) STAKEHOLDERS FORUM ON THE DELINEATION OF CONSTITUENCIES AND CREATION OF ADDITIONAL POLING UNITS IN AMUWO ODOFIN LGA, ON THE 30TH OF JULY, 2013
Distinguished, I gladly welcome you all to this August gathering. I must state that this occasion is one that satisfies the yearnings of not a few.
Again, may I sincerely, reiterate my unreserved appreciation particularly, for this turn-out and high response to INEC invitation.
This move only gives credence to the long time argument that Lagos state is overdue for more local government areas, and by extension, more wards, and constituencies.
Let me start by posting that meaningful development is an attendant feature of democracy. As a democratic society, structural expansion, demographic changes, ditto, growth in population, are changes that are inevitable. As responsible govern ment then, we must plan to embrace these changes.
You will agree with me that as the closest government to the people, the local government assume a vantage and strategic position in nation building, but to achieve holistic infrastructural development, and possibly touch the lives of our people, their efforts must be complimented by councilors in the local government and legislators representing them from the state house of assembly especially, on projects and programmes beyond the reach and constitutional responsibility of the local government.
For a practical instance, in Amuwo Odofin local government under the present administration which harnesses economic potentials through creative ideas, a milestone has been covered in terms of sustainable development.
For the past five years of this present administration, we have made conspicuous mark on various sectors of the economy--------education, health, youth, road network and other social amenities, amongst others.
Distinguished, despite the laudable achievement of this local government, I made bold to state that a great distance still need to be covered.
To address these challenges and compliment the effort of the local government in bringing the dividends of democracy, as well as in the spirit of unalloyed patriotism, we strongly believe that there is a strong desire to address the lacunae in the electoral act vis-à-vis delineation of constituency and creation of additional polling units in Amuwo Odofin local government area.
Ladies and gentlemen, not too long ago, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission was in this local government to discuss possible ways of creating additional wards and polling units.
After due consultations and series of stakeholders meetings, the commission recommended 2 new additional wards and 53 polling units in Amuwo Odofin local government area.
The two new wards include Temitope ward, which will be carved out from Orire and Ifelodun Wards, while Ifesowapo Ward to be carved out from Ado ward.
The total number of wards and polling units in the LGA is now 9 wards and 277 poling units, from the previous 7 wards and 224 poling units.
Though a laudable intent, it is still a far cry of what the people need and desires, considering our population of over 1.5 million people.
Furthermore, I state here today that the quest for more wards at the riverine community from LASIEC is still on, as we hope to get positive feedback soonest.
Presently, the INEC delineation of wards and polling units for Amuwo Odofin local government area is 11 wards and 435 polling units. This figure is not in tandem with the reality on ground.
Population, historical facts, land mass, contingency and the right to vote are the necessary requirements for creation of the aforementioned, but in Amuwo Odofin local government we are being short change.
For example, in the coastal communities, that have over 50 communities, it is surprising that few wards were given to them. We are demanding that more wards should be created. This will allow for more representation.
Also, in Festac town, which is increasing in population daily, should be given more wards to the previous 3 wards.
In mile 2 area, more wards should be created to the existing one, and Abule Ado should be given more wards because of its growing population.
In a nut shell, we are demanding for 30 more wards and polling units to be added to the previous 11 wards and 435 polling units that are recognized by your commission.
It is instructive to state that the delineation of wards and creation of additional polling units would help in producing more representatives in government for the electorates at the grassroots level and remove the pains voters usually experience in an effort to cast votes at distant polling booths .
In simplicity, it means that there will be more representatives by the people in the democratic process.
The additional polling units will also bring polling units closer to the people and will go a long way in reducing the apparent low turnout of eligible voters at various elections.
The underlying fact is that the voters’ apathy will reduce and there will be more development at the grassroots in particular , Lagos State and Nigeria in general.
On a final note, I will like to use this opportunity to remind stakeholders that to have more representatives in the Federal, State and the local governemnt, their voices must be heard via their votes.
The Resident commissioner of INEC , Lagos state and member of your team, I once again want to thank you for coming to our friendly local government, where the present administration is marching on the path of meaningful and sustainable development, in a bold attempt to redefine grassroots governance.
Thank you for listening.
Comrade Ayodele Adewale
Executive Chairman, Amuwo Odofin L.G.A