by Temidayo Sidiq
The Office of the Citizen radio programme held today on Nigerian Info FM. The topic of discussion was Citizens and their Local Government. Accountability of elected officials at the local government is the core of the discussion
Alimosho LGA Chairman, Hon Jelili Adewale was supposed to be our guest on the programme today, but as usual turned down few hours before the commencement of the show despite confirming his attendance the previous day. This is indeed typical of elected representatives.
We got through to him through his personal assistant, Mr Oladimeji, and he promised to be on the show. YMonitor reached out to the Chairman on Tuesday to confirm his attendance and his PA assured us that he (Chairman) would be attending.
Today, the day of the interview, he reached out to our team that he would not be available as an emergency had suddenly arose. It was surprising however that the chairman communicated this to the team late even when we were in touch with him till the last minute.
According to his Personal Assistant, “We were on the way already, and something just came up, we had to turn back, can the programme be shifted to 3pm?” Our correspondent told him that the Office of the citizen is a live programme that cannot be shifted forward and suggested that the chairman send a representative, since we have publicised the programme and already told our listeners the guest we are expecting, so can we have his representatives. Similar situation had happened in the past, but the said LGA chairman reached out to us the day before the event that he would not be able to attend the show, but he would send either his Vice or the SLG which he did. But the Alimosho LGA Chairman through his PA sent us a text that “..Very unfortunate. Everyone that can represent are part of the meeting. It is crucial to the survival of our people, I mean Lagosians. It is an emerging issue.”
By this the Chairman is saying that his Vice, Secretary to the LGA (SLG), Head of Administration (HOA), Supervisory councillors, councillors, Special Advisers, councillors are all part of the meeting, and there is no one in the Local government administration that will represent him or speak to the citizens who are all expecting that he gives account of his administration.
The Editor of YMonitor went on air and apologized for the situation as well as explained to the listeners why the Chairman was not on air as promised, the topic was duly discussed and callers called in to give their complaints about Alimosho LGA, many of them complained about the poor inner roads in the area, and the fact that the chairman is practically not doing enough since he assumed office.
The chairman’s PA (Mr Oladimeji) called YMonitor’s Editor immediately after the programme, queyring why we went on air to ‘blackmail’ his principal after they explained he would not be available, and that people called in to scold the chairman, he then dropped the call.
Surprisingly, the same persons that said they would be busy within the period of the show, and could not find anyone in the council to yield the call of the citizens became bothered about how the people reacted to his absence.
It is important that elected representatives know that there is no call that is higher than that of the citizens whom they represent, and they owe them a duty to account for their activities in office any time, any day.
Above all, Hon Jelili Adewale should know that the Office of the Citizen is the highest office in the Land.