Residents of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) have called on Executive Chairman Oladotun Olakanle to do more for the people, claiming his impact is not being felt in the communities under his jurisdiction.
One of the residents, Mr. Festus Ebenezer, challenged Olakanle to emulated his predecessor, Babatunde Oke and prioritise the welfare of residents in the LCDA.
Olakanle was the former Vice Chairman of Onigbongbo LCDA before being sworn-in in 2020 by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after the demise of the past Chairman, Oke, who died on August 12, 2020, following complications from COVID-19.
In March 2021, the proceedings at the LCDA council chamber showed that four of the six members present voted in favour of the impeachment of Olakanle as Executive Chairman, over allegations of gross financial misappropriation, while two voted against it.
The impeachment vote appears to have been overturned as Olakanle, in July 2021, was declared as the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Onigbongbo LCDA ahead of the July 26, 2021, local government elections in Lagos state.
“Most of the projects you see now in Onigbongbo were done by him (late chairman),” Ebenezer said. He also cited how the previous chairman would give residents food items during the festive season. “But this one, we don’t see that. The people are complaining about that.”
He further explained that the beneficiaries of the LCDA welfare programs organized by the chairman are mostly party members and workers in the LCDA secretariat, not the poor residents.
Another resident who has lived in the Ward D neighbourhood of Onigbongbo for over two decades, Mr. Anthony Arowojolu mentioned the drainage system as an issue that should be looked into.
“This drainage has been erected since the Jakande era, up till today, there are no changes,” Arowojolu said while pointing at the gutter and drainage on Ogundana Street.
An APC member at the Onigbongbo LCDA who insisted on being anonymous expressed his displeasure over the Executive Chairman’s leadership.
He accused the chairman of not listening to the people in the community. “Someone reported him to me this morning. He should have paid some of his workers’ salaries but he didn’t do that before travelling out of the country,” the party member bemoaned.
The Director of the Onigbongbo LCDA Information Unit, Mrs. Sampson Joke refuted these allegations, noting that Executive Chairman Olakanle has been involved in community affairs, and has constructed five good roads across the six wards in the LCDA.
“His works speak for him,” she said, spreading her hands to show her new office. She cited the newly built block of offices at the Abule Onigbagbo annex – where most of the workers have been moved to, from the LCDA secretariat at Opebi Road – as proof of a job well done by the Executive Chairman.
She further gave examples of projects done by the Chairman such as the rehabilitation of Akerele and Nafiu Street, the reconstruction of Esugbayi and Ayola Coker Street with interlocking paving stones, the supply and installation of 11KVA solar inverter system at Abule Onigbagbo Annex Office, grants to all widows, widowers, and small-scale business owners.
“He also gave free GCE forms to students to assist parents/guardians in Onigbongbo,” Mrs. Bankole told The Record in a chat.
Just like the Ojodu LCDA, the information director also said the Onigbongbo LCDA was working on distributing palliatives to residents to help with the high cost of goods, and also cushion the current effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
“We just had a meeting about that yesterday; it is in the pipeline, very soon,” she said.