Teslim Folarin: A Friend Of The Grassroots | Morufu Smith

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    When they say politics is local, what is meant is that politics starts in and thrives from the grassroots to the states and to the federal. Where the grasses have their roots is where they call grassroots and there are specific public office holders whose duty is to uproot the grasses and entrench concretes of development for the betterment of the local populace. All politics played and which results in governance is aimed at bettering the lives of the people at the grassroots. It is the reason provision is made for local government administration at the level of residual legislative list. Though in a federal system that Nigeria currently practises, there are provisions for federal, states and local governments, the federation we practise is considered skewed because state governments are preventing local governments from breathing, hampering the people at the grassroots from enjoying dividends of governance.

    In Oyo state, the last time people at the grassroots enjoyed dividends of democracy was during the two tenures of APC-led government with late Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the governor. Despite that a protracted court case prevented Senator Ajimobi from conducting local government election until towards the end of his second term, the caretaker chairmen the late governor appointed did not starve people of their local governments of benefits of road, water, health and education infrastructures. When late Ajimobi later conducted local government election and executive chairmen with their cabinets and legislatures were elected, provisions of infrastructures continued unobstrusively. Late Gov Ajimobi allowed them to be truly, practically executive in the performance of their duties.

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    Enter Seyi Makinde! The last time Oyo local governments had seen better days was during the Ajimobi-led APC Government. The local governments in Oyo state have become a shadow of themselves as Gov Makinde collects LG monthly allocations from the federation account and lodges them in the joint account, to distribute paltry amounts to the ‘executive’ chairmen to pay salaries and to provide tokens of infrastructures. Under Seyi Makinde, people at the grassroots are being denied dividends of democracy. Senator Teslim Kolawole Folarin, APC Governorship Candidate, has done more for the grassroots across his Oyo Central Senatorial District than the local governments ‘executive’ chairmen whose offices were created to bring dividends of governance to the grassroots under Gov Seyi Makinde.

    What hasn’t Senator Folarin done to allow people at the grassroots have a feel of government? He has built blocks of classrooms and has provided educational materials to both primary and secondary schools under his senatorial district. He has empowered grassroot farmers with funds, seedlings, implements and trainings. He has facilitated ICT centres to all the zones within his senatorial district. He has provided loans running into hundreds of millions for cooperative societies to give out to their members to improve small-scale businesses. People at the grassroots are enjoying illuminations with the solar lights that Senator Folarin provided for many communities within his senatorial district. What about roads? He has facilitated roads to these communities. Healthcare at the grassroot level is receiving a boost as Senator Folarin has built modern, well equipped hospitals spread across the district. There are several ongoing projects that Senator Folarin either facilitates or is sponsoring across communities in Oyo Central Senatorial District.

    Senator Folarin believes in the autonomy of the local governments. He believes that rapid development can only come to the grassroots by allowing local government councils to be independent in generating funds, in making their budgets, in spending their monies and in performing their duties as enshrined in the residual legislative list of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. Since Senator Folarin has surpassed Gov Makinde and his breathless ‘executive’ chairmen in bringing dividends of democracy closer to the grassroots as a senator, it is no gainsaying that people at the grassroots are going to enjoy the best of development if he is elected as the next governor of Oyo State.

    Senator Teslim Folarin is a friend of the grassroots and he will not forsake them if elected.

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