…As public hearing begins
By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
As the public hearing on the bill creating 33 LCDAs in Ondo State began at the House of Assembly yesterday, the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has warned that he would wield the big stick against trouble mongers hiding under the exercise to foment trouble.
In a stern warning to stakeholders, the Governor said he would not hesitate to cancel or suspend the creation of the LCDAs in any community or local governments where there is crisis or court injunction.
Two communities, Akure and Isinkan, both in Akure South Local Government confronted each other on the creation of the new Akure West LCDAs with its headquarters in Isinkan.
Representatives of both communities differed on the justification of its creation and appropriate name and headquarters of the new LCDA
The Speaker of the State Assembly, Olamide Olajide who conveyed the warning to stakeholders at yesterday’s public hearing saluted the Governor for his visionary leadership to tow the line of his southwest colleagues.
Earlier, stakeholders from the 18 Local Government areas of the State presented and defended their memoranda at the Public Hearing on the proposed creation of Local Council Development areas (LCDAs).
Few weeks ago, government presented the bill to the State House of Assembly which has scaled through first and second reading as well as committed to the house committee of the whole house headed by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji for scrutiny.
The stakeholders made their opinions and demands known at a one day public hearing on the bill organised by the State House of Assembly which took place at the international culture and event centre, “The DOME” in Akure.
Five representatives who spoke on behalf of each local government expressed their opinions on the proposed creation of the LCDAs.
Defending their memos, most stakeholders during the public hearing asked for additional LCDAs with the proposed ones given to them while some were satisfied with what they were given.
They appreciated the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration for the step taken, saying that this will bring governance closer to the people at the grassroots.
The representatives from Akure South local government, requested for two more LCDAs, which according to them has the largest population being the State capital.
However, the representatives of Ondo East Local Government expressed satisfaction with the proposed LCDAs, commending the State government for the giant stride of fast tracking development at the grassroots.
Also, the representatives from Akoko South West Local government said that they have 15 wards which according to them is the largest in the State. They noted that they have all it requires in terms of population, landmarks, economy, proximity to development.
“We are demanding a minimum of additional three LCDAs, the new LCDA given to us will create problems because communities that do not have borders, they don’t have the same cultural activities or anything in common were being merged together, taking a community over another one, that is not acceptable to anyone in Akoko South West, we are pleading, all we ask for is justice, fairness and equity.”
Akoko North East representatives demanded for LCDAs in lkare with 11 wards, saying by so doing crisis in the town will be put at bay. They however thanked the State government for the great step taken.
Representatives from Ese- Odo local government said that the name Apoi should be recognized in the new LCDAs, while they also demanded for additional two LCDAs.
Other stakeholders at the public hearing in their various submissions and petitions appreciated the State government for the gesture ,saying that the proposed LCDAs would bring development and government closer to the people.
Some of the stakeholders frowned at the secrecy surrounding the authentic list of the names of the proposed LCDAs except those peddled on social media, hence fuelling speculations.
Other petitions submitted by various stakeholders include, change in the names of some LCDAs, change in location of headquarters.
Other speakers at the event proposed that paramouncy in traditional institution should not be altered in the process.
Earlier, while declaring the hearing open, the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji revealed that the deliberation on the document will finally give credence to the creation of thirty-three Local Council Development Areas which shall complement the existing 18 Local Government areas of the State.
Oladiji saluted the visionary leadership of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for choosing to tow the line of other Southwest States which had earlier created their LCDAs with a view to fast-tracking development at the grassroots.
He noted that the Local Government is the third tier of government and plays significant roles in enhancing sustainable development of the nation.
The Speaker while speaking at the end of the session assured that the memos will be looked into, and the needed ones put into consideration for a robust bill.
He emphasised that people’s interest will always be taken into consideration on any bill sent to the Assembly.