8th December, 2011
Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ajibayo Adeyeye, has lamented the lack of effective use of constituency offices created by lawmakers for their constituents.
The lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2 in the House, described this as a major challenge for the lawmakers since they would not be able to ascertain the needs of their constituents.
Adeyeye noted that if constituency offices are properly used, lawmakers can easily identify some of the problems which their constituents are facing and make moves to implement them.
The House Leader, who revealed this during an interactive session with members of state Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) and the Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP) at the Assembly complex, stressed: â€œIf there is any frustration which I have encountered as a politician, it is the non-participation of our elite in the democratic dispensation.
â€œSome members of the elite do not know the functions of the executive from those of the legislature; some also do not know the difference between State Assembly and the National Assembly.
â€œWhen I was elected into the Assembly in 2007, I set up a constituency office where I employed some staff. Throughout my first term only three correspondences were sent to the constituency office, one for a wedding ceremony and the other two was for financial assistance.â€
The lawmaker, however, urged the civil society groups to embark on public enlightenment campaign on the use of constituency offices as they are set up to accommodate the public.
In his contribution, the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olusegun Abiru, said politicians have not done enough in terms of establishment of constituency offices and their use.
According to him, â€œif our politicians embark on rigorous campaign on the importance of constituency offices as they do during the electioneering campaign, constituents would be willing to meet the lawmakers there rather than in the Assembly.
Mr. Ayo Adebusoye, a representative of LACSOP, highlighted some of the findings of the group which indicated that 50 per cent of staff employed by the lawmakers are trained in constituency/legislative relations, have experience in politics, good human relations, problem solving skill and good understanding of the constituency while only five per cent of the lawmakers do not have such trained staff.
The Lagos StateÂ Civil Society Partnership, (LACSOP) as part of its joint action plan with the Assembly is facilitating the development of a strong relationship between the civil society and the media to engender a good working relationship.
â€” Eromosele Ebhomele