9th September, 2011
The Orderly Society Trust, OST, in collaboration with Oshodi/Isolo Local Government, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, and Galaxy Television, has held the first ever political debate for prospective chairmanship candidates in the forthcoming local government elections.
The elections is slated for 22 October, 2011, in all the 20 local government areas and the 37 local council development areas across the state.
The political debate which was held at white House, behind the Oshodi/Isolo Local Government was attended by state and local government officials, traditional rulers, politicians, artisans, students, market men and women among others.
The debaters, who are vying for the chairmanship seat of the local government, include seven members of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member.
The ACN aspirants are Kassim Gbolagade Sadiq, Adedayo Thomas, Dr. Florence Adesola, Oludaisi Oso, Lanre Ganiyu Malik, Mumuni Abiodun Ilori, Samuel Adeoye McCarthy and a PDP member, Sunday Adetokunbo Kudehinbo.
The debate, according to the Programme Coordinator, Foluso Idumu, is a key strategy to strengthen the voters understanding of the local government electoral process and to ensure that the peopleâ€™s choice of leaders is based on the social benefits they will bring to leadership and not their personality or party.
The OST is a non-government organisation founded by Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and his wife, Oludolapo, to nurture order in the society, and also seeks to assist in overcoming challenges of creating an orderly society by promoting initiatives which support the rule of law, transparency and accountability, good governance and good ethics.
It would be recalled that in 2009, the organisation with support from Ford Foundation conducted a fact-finding survey covering 44 local governments in 13 states in Nigeria.
A review of the findings indicated that 66.4% of respondents interviewed had a weak understanding of the role of local government, 91.9% had average to low levels of trust in local governance, while 81.3 do not know the name of their elected representatives at the local government level.
Also,79.5% of respondents interviewed had limited access to information from their local governments, while 85.2% had never participated in budget deliberation, indicating weak civic participation.
As a result of the low level of trust in local governance, the organisation has now commenced working on implementing a pre-election advocacy initiative for local governments in the state.