10th January, 2011
The Police College Parade Ground, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria was a beehive of activities as over 2,000 Community Development Association, CDA, members,traders, government officials and well wishers gathered to celebrate the 2010 Community Day.
To make a success of the day, the event was scheduled asÂ an end ofÂ year programme.Â It held on 30 December, 2010, with CDA members, staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Rural Development dressing in gorgeous attires to make the day memorable.
While some wore green Ankara material, others wore striped light brown Ankara.Â The march-past was very humorous as a blend of old and young men were part of the parade.Â With their incoherent march steps, one could not help butÂ laugh but it was fun.
The highpoint of the day was when Governor Babatunde Fashola presented a brand new air conditioned bus and N400, 000 as grant to the best CDA, which tuened out to be Topo CDA in Badagry Local Government.
Ojokoro Ahmadiya CDA, Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, LCDA emerged second with N400, 000 andÂ a tricycle, while the United CDA from Igando Ikotun LCDA came third and got a motorcycle and a N400,000 grant.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner for Rural Development, Prince Lanre Balogun said that government had fashioned out programmes purposefully geared towards enhancing the living condition of the rural populace while stemming rural-urban drift and maintaining a close work liaison with the CDAs in the state.
He added that one of the ways which transparent and reliable election can be guaranteed is through mandate protection and proper community policing on Election Day.
The Commissioner stated that under its 2009 programme, the ministry, through its various departments handed over 500 rural projects to communities in Lagos State, pointing out that the lingering development challenge faced by the rural communities had further necessitated the continuous updating and upgrading of new and existing infrastructure in the State.
The theme of the celebration was Achieving Credible Election Through Effective Community Mobilization.
Governor Fashola told all residents of Lagos that nothing could be more important than being registered to obtain the voterâ€™s card and using same at every election, adding that elections played a very critical role in the lives of people.
â€œIt is something that everybody must get involved in.Â It starts with the voters registration exercise that will commence on the 15 January. Everybody, young and old that is of voting age must get involved and participate.
â€œIt is not enough for the father to say that he is going to register alone. He must take his wife as well as all the children of voting age along. It is nothing to be left to chance. Everybody must get involved.