21st September, 2011
Felix Orisunola Igiebor, Managing Editor, CN News, a broad based community newspaper, in this interview with JAMIU YISA, spoke about the rationale behind his award for local government council chiefs across the state and other issues
Why organising awards for local government chairmen?
We looked at the local government in terms of performance and service to the people. We have been going around to see what they are doing in the last three years and publishing same in our newspaper. We felt that those who have performed optimally should be appreciated. We also looked at particular projects executed by these chairmen as criteria for this awards. We know that all local governments in Lagos State have performed, but a few of the chairmen have gone beyond the ordinary by embarking on capital projects which are visible and of utmost benefit to the generality of the residents of their communities. All these necessitated the institution of the awards.
Also, we being a community newspaper at the grassroots, believe that such is in our domain.
Most people often believe that giving out awards is all about money and it is to the highest bidder, what’s your opinion on this?
If you look at the recipients of our awards, you will discover that some of them are not even in office as we speak now. Many of them have moved up. One of them is presently in the Lagos State House of Assembly and another at the National Assembly. So, money is not our motivation, rather, we wish to encourage performance at the grassroots level. This is the reason for this award. Since the new chairmen will be sworn-in after the election, we felt that an award of this nature would ginger them to perform beyond their predecessors or do better for those who are coming back for a second term in office. Also, you will discover that during the course of their three-year tenure, a lot of organisations came up with different kinds of awards, but we waited this long because we wanted the local government councils to have rounded off all their programmes and plans for their various constituencies before we pick the best ten out of them.
What criteria did you use in picking the best ten?
Like I said earlier, the criteria we used was to tie the awards to particular capital intensive projects executed by these councils that are of immense benefit to the generality of their respective communities. After looking at those projects, we also consider text messages from our numerous readers who voted en masse for their respective choices.
When and where will the event hold?
Since this is electioneering period at the local government level, we felt each of the chairmen will be too busy to attend programmes here and there. So what we intend to do is to take the award ceremonies to each of the ten local government councils. We will have the ceremonies at the time best convenient for them so as to relieve them of the stress of having to move themselves and their people to a central venue. Therefore, the award will be held on dates and time suitable for each of the recipients.
Won’t that be capital intensive?
Well, it won’t be capital intensive if we look at the gains of taking it to their respective domains because if we bring them to a central location, most of their people in their various localities who are supposed to come and appreciate what they have done may not be able to make it to the central venue. But if it is held in each of their local government areas, the traditional rulers, CDA/CDC members and youth groups, among others, will be able to attend the ceremony and see what their chairmen have done and then decide to either vote them back to power or kick them out.