Friday, 21st of April, 2017 was a special and memorable day for the people of Ward 3 of Ikole Local Government Area comprising of Oke – Ijebu, Ikunri, Odo – Oro, and Temidire Communities. His Royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Fatile, the Eleri Of Ikunri, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ezekiel Idowu Awe, the Oloojebu of Oke – Ijebu Ekiti and Olori M. I. Awe, His Royal Majesty, Oba Gbadebo Ogunsakin of Odo – Oro represented by Chief Marcus A. Daramola, Elejofi of Odo-Oro, and His
Royal Majesty, Oba Ayodele Kupoluyi of Temidire represented by Chief Mrs. Aina Ojo and numerous men and women as well as young and old persons from the length and breadth of the four Communities, and Honourable Owoeye Olatunbosun, the Councillor representing their constituency in the Local Government all gathered at All Saints Anglican Church Hall, Oke-Bola, Ikole – Ekiti at the instance of Justice, Development and Peace Initiative of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti for a meeting on Peoples’ Participation in Governance.
The meeting started with arrival of Guests and Participants around 10:17 am. At about 10:47 am, Alfa A. Q. Shonaiya said the opening prayer in Arabic language. Afterwards, the people were sensitized on the principles of governance through representation and particularly as necessitating factors for regular and consistent Town Hall Meetings between the people and their representatives.
Generally, the sensitization was an eye opener for the people as they were taking through the following important topics:
1. Understanding The System of Governance Operating in Nigeria
2. Distinctive Characteristics Of Democracy As A System of Government
3. Peoples’ Participation in Government Through Representation At Different Constituents of Government
4. How Our Representatives Can Be Made To Represent Us And Not Themselves
5. The Concept of Town Hall Meeting And How Regular It Should Hold.
So many vital and cogent contributions were made by the participants towards achieving good governance through adequate and qualitative representation at governance levels. The points made included the followings:
1. A participant noted that the best way to ensure good governance is for the people to desire good governance instead of running after their shares of the so called national cake.
2. Another participant noted that it is proper to vote for the right
persons and not be led astray by greed or selfish reasons.
3. Another participant noted that it has always been difficult to meet with the representatives of the people once they have assumed the leadership position sought for.
4. Another participant raised the fact that the expensive cost of governance should be greatly reduced.
5. A participant from Ikunri community noted that lack of awareness of the rights and powers of the people in matters of governance is responsible for poor participation in government.
6. HRM Oba Adeyeye Fatile, the Eleri of Ikunri Community observed that regular town hall meeting with the people is an indices of good participation in representative government.
7. Another participant asked if there is any system available to the people to recall any representative who has failed to represent the people very well.
8. HRM Oba Ezekiel Idowu Awe, the Oloojebu of Oke – Ijebu Ekiti noted that the people who elected the representatives have the powers to pass a vote of No Confidence on the representatives.
9. A participant noted that representation should be on part time basis so that only willing and serious minded persons would represent the people genuinely and not for the monetary benefits attached thereto
10. A participant recommended that traditional oath of allegiance be effected on the representatives in order to make them responsible.
After the sensitization exercise, Honourable Owoeye Olatunbosun was invited to give account of his stewardship to the people. He appreciated the organizers of the programme of the day and also the entire people of the Ward 3 for their unalloyed supports always. He took time to explain how he had been consulting some members of the communities as at when necessary particularly when decisions had to be made concerning what to include in the Local Government’s Budget on short notice. He enumerated the different projects he had initiated and ensured that that they were executed in the communities under his care. The people appreciated the Honourable for his efforts. They however quarried the Honourable on the quality of the so called persons he claimed to be consulting for decisions on short notice. The Kabiyesis said they had no knowledge of the persons in question. The Honourable pledged wider and qualitative consultation. The people made some requests to the Honourable. For instance, the people of Temidire requested that for some months there had not been electricity supply to their community and they asked what the representative had done about it. The people of Ikunri community requested that they lack Health Centre at the community and then asked for the intervention of the representative. The Honourable appreciated the participants for their reactions and contributions. He noted that there are some factors responsible for poor implementation of the people’s desire as there is a limit to what he can achieve as a representative of the people. He said that his primary function is to speak on behalf of the people at Hallow Chambers. He promised to continue to represent the people well.
The meeting came to a close at 2:00 pm after Richard Ogunbiyi Esq., Programme Officer, JDPI had delivered a closing remarks where he thanked everyone for a wonderful time spent and for their reactions and contributions. Ms. Adebisi Damilola from Temidire community said the closing prayer. Taking of groups photographs followed and light refreshment.