• Grassroots support, a testimony of working partnership’ – Governor
By Ayomide Otitoju
The 4,325 Community Development Associations (CDAs) and the 57 Community Development Councils (CDCs) in Lagos State, on Thursday, announced their endorsement for the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for another term.
The grassroots groups also pitched their tent with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, describing him as the “most progressive contender”.
Sanwo-Olu received the endorsement instruments at the 2022 Community Day Celebration organised by the Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC) in collaboration with the Lagos State Government. The event with the theme: “Strengthening Community Engagement for Inclusive Governance”, was held at the Police College in GRA Ikeja.
CDAC chairman, Alhaji Azeez Amusat, said the community associations’ support for the Governor and the APC presidential candidate was borne out of the personal connection and the positive impacts the endorsees had with the grassroots across the State.
Sanwo-Olu said the endorsement attested to a “working partnership” his Government had established with the CDAs and CDCs across the local councils in the State, pledging continuation of programmes and policies that would have positive benefits for the grassroots.
The Governor said the critical role played by the grassroots movement in promoting peace and stability within the State could not be undermined, stressing that CDAs and CDCs’ advisory council had not only been dependable, but had proven to be trusted organisation in bringing development to local communities.
He said: “This occasion of your annual Community Day Celebration provides a unique opportunity to reflect and acknowledge the role of CDAs and CDCs as important stakeholders in delivering all Government interventions to the grassroots. You have become an important arm of our community. I cannot thank you enough for being our eyes and ears within communities. The advisory council has not only been dependable, but has proven to be one to be trusted. You are worthy partners in the progress of our State.
“The endorsement you have given us today is an attestation and a confirmation of a partnership that is working. We will not take your support for granted. This tells us we have made positive impacts in your communities and we need to do a lot more to ensure this confidence reposed in us is not lost. We will continue to engage you and strengthen your commitment on the cause you have chosen by ensuring you participate in governance and creating a sustainable system for your growth.”
Sanwo-Olu said his administration had restored peace in many of troubled communities across the State and brought dignity back through impartial appointments and installation of traditional rulers and chiefs.
The Governor said the CDAs and the CDCs played a key role in assisting the Government to bring key stakeholders to agreements whenever necessary, pointing out that the CDAC had metamorphosed into an indispensable tool for progress and peace.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, we have installed over 40 traditional rulers in various communities across the State without any rancour. The traditional leaderships are happy with us because we take their stool, their roles and interventions seriously.
“Our commitment is to serve our citizens with dignity and I reassure that we will continue to lead a purposeful government. We appreciate your participation and partnership. We will strengthen cooperation with you and ensure our development programmes reach every community in the State.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Bolaji Roberts, said CDAs and CDCs had been assisting the Government on vital issues in the areas of security and governance, while also promoting peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationships amongst the people within their domains.
This ceremony, he said, further demonstrated the Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to ensuring dividend of democracy is extended to all the nooks and crannies of Lagos through Community Development Associations, which, he said, play pivotal roles in the development of the State.
Amusat noted that the State Government had been supportive of active communities collaborating with the State in promoting sustainable development in their areas. He commended the State Government for programmes targeted at improving lives in communities.
The CDAC chairman also praised Sanwo-Olu for approving annual subventions to support the groups’ activities. He added that the Governor approved leadership training for members and supported the associations’ congresses.
Amusat called on the CDA and CDC members to get their voter cards and vote for the Governor.
Chief Rotimi Williams Community Development Association in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area was named the Most Outstanding CDA in Lagos, winning a brand new 18-seater bus to support its activities.
Other winners are Hilltop Community Development Association in Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA (first runner-up), and Gateway Zone Community Development in Ikosi Isheri LGA (second runner-up)
Ilupeju Community III Community Development Association in Ojo Local Government Area won the Best Rural Community.