Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has enjoined the 389 newly-elected councillors and the would-be local government chairmen, under the parliamentary system being proposed for the state, to focus on grassroots development and make the dividends of democracy accessible to the people in their localities.
The governor gave the charge, in Osogbo, the state capital, during the swearing-in ceremony of the new councilors. He charged them to hit the ground running with emphasis on proffering solutions to the diverse challenges the people are faced with in their localities such as refuse menace and sanitation, street trading, poor drainage system, water scarcity and other infrastructural needs.
Governor Aregbesola also called on them to participate fully in revenue generation programmes in the efforts to boost the financial economy of the state.
His words, “Your first duty is environmental sanitation. You must find urgent solution to the filths by the road sides in your areas and take ownership of waste management through partnership with private sector. You have three weeks to clear the dirt on the road sides. They must be evacuated to designated dump sites and make your environments clean,” the governor stressed.
“Two, take charge of the various markets in your communities. Eliminate any form of street trading. It is as archaic as nomadic cattle rearing. It is risky to human lives and it is your responsibility to prevent avoidable deaths arising from street trading,” he added.
“Third is revenue generation. You must galvanise all available resources to generate revenues for administration and your people. Revenues must be tapped from taxable adults and investments. Free money is no longer available.
The governor who maintained that the parliamentary system was more people-driven and democratic than the executive system of government, also charged the elected officials to give listening ears to the people at all times and prove themselves as custodians of people’s choice.
He advised them to jettison tyranny, dictatorship, absolutism and arbitrariness which typify the executive system, urging them to remember that the party remains supreme and must guide their actions and policies.
The governor also urged them to be ready to act according to the party directives that would be issued regularly in the interest of the people.
While lauding the parliamentary system introduced at the local government level, Governor Aregbesola said, “It is most pleasing to see democratic government return to the local government. To us, parliamentary system is more democratic. Parliamentary system is rooted in the party and the people.
“Its greatest beauty and attraction is that it promotes the party because it is the party that forms the government. It affirmed the supremacy of the political party. When anyone joins the party, it is because he believes in its philosophy. It is not possible for you to work against your party.
“And because the executive members are appointed within the cabinet, it saves cost of campaign by the politicians and the cost of organising elections for the executive by the government; unlike where the presidential or the governorship aspirant has to tour the whole nation or the entire state. It also enhances stability. It deepens democracy, like in Britain and in our First Republic,” the governor said.