21st September, 2011
The rate at which residents of Lagos State besiege the state House of Assembly at every provocation has become a sure sign that democracy in the state is working. The people have become aware that the lawmakers, as their representatives in government, are the most important people to run to for their cries to be heard.
This has become evident in the increasing rate of protests to the Assembly in recent times.
Within the last few months, no fewer than eight of such protests have been recorded. These ranged from grievances over the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, the alleged shoddy handling of the 2010 flood victims relocated to Agbowa and those also affected in Orile-Agege, to the disapproval of some political aspirants in the state
On Monday, residents of Agbado-Oke Odo Local Council Development Area protested to the House over the ambition of the Chairman of the LCDA to contest the forthcoming local government election.
They accused the chairman, whose name was given as Kenny Okumuyide of non-performance. The protesters, who almost became uncontrollable, were calmed by some members of the Assembly led by Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla, who promised to take their complaints to his colleagues and the party secretariat.
As he spoke with them, there were two other groups of protesters waiting to be addressed by the lawmakers. The lawmakers had a tough day calming the nerves of the agitated residents.
On Tuesday last week, hundreds of Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) residents stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest against the planned return of the incumbent chairman, Samuel Adedayo, to the council in the forthcoming local government election.
The spokesperson for the protesters, Ayuba Adegbite, who complained bitterly, claimed that since council boss assumed office, there has been no peace and development in the area.
Adegbite told journalists and lawmakers at the Assembly that residents of the area have abandoned their houses due to insecurity, adding that thugs attack people daily in the area.
Corroborating Adegbite’s complaint, Mrs. Idowu Olufeso, said: â€œWe have the interest of our party, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, at heart and we will not allow other parties to hijack our local government from us. This and other reasons made us to come here today.â€
One of the residents, Taiwo Osai, who spoke with our reporter lamented that the chairman does not belong to the community because of his behaviour toward the people.
Addressing the protesters, Mudashiru Obasa, representing Agege Constituency 1, thanked the people for their peaceful demonstration and promised that the House would act on their petition.
He advised them to take their complaints to the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.