By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Governor has called on residents of the State to take all necessary precautions to avoid any mishap relating to fire and security misfortune in the State during the festivities.
This is just as the governor called on Lagosians to be on alert against another wave of COVID-19 by adhering to safety protocols during the Yuletide.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at the Grand Finale of the Year 2021 Community Day Celebration, held at Ikeja, the State Capital, called on residents within the communities to be responsive to providing intelligence to security agents, saying, “If you see something, say something to the nearest security formation.”
Imploring residents to be sensitive to fire inducing agents during the yuletide season, he said: “Fire can be triggered very easily. In the last two weeks, we have seen fire incidents already at the Plank Market in Jakande-Isolo, and also at the Balogun Market. It is a season when we need to take the message back home.
“As Community Development Council (CDCs) leaders, please take the message back home that because of the harsh weather during harmattan, fire is always a very easy occurrence.
“So, people need to live safe. People need to understand, it’s a period between now and March. Stay safe, make sure you don’t have combustible item around your shops, houses, and ensure precautions on electric gadgets to avert fire incidents.”
On security he said “Security they say is local. Security is important at the grassroots. You have been working with us, continue to work with us. You see something, you say something. All of the neighborhood watchers are in your communities let them know if you see strange movements.
“If you notice things not meant to be in your communities, pass on the message to them and you can be rest assured that the security agents will come around to keep you safe and secured. As we are going into the yuletide season, please let’s be very vigilant and make sure that we are our brothers’ keeper.”
On COVID-19 safety protocols, he said, “We are getting out of it but we cannot be completely relaxed. In all of our engagements, let’s continue to keep those simple protocols.”
Sanwo-Olu who said his administration “is people oriented” which has informed the execution of grassroots improvement programme across the State, said the Government is committed to promoting coordinated efforts for “peaceful, harmonious and serene atmosphere for growth and development in communities.”
Mentioning that the development of grassroot government was central to the Administration’s roadmap for development, he said the Community Development Associations (CDAs) in the State have been recognised as the engine for growth.
According to him, the reflection has been recording yearly increase in the number of CDAs and CDCs, adding that more of these CDAs would emerge to record the highest among States in the Federation.
He called on the various CDAs to join hands with the Government to ensure safety and security of lives and property in the State, particular during the festive season.
According to him, various community projects across 377 wards in the State were being executed to foster even development across the State, describing the CDAs as “the beacon of hope.”
Sanwo-Olu mentioned that the various infrastructure projects centred on promoting intermodal transportation in the State, including hundreds of school projects as well as construction and reconstructioinn of hospitals were directed towards the effect of improving condition of living at the grassroots.
This is just as the Governor recognised the best performing CDAs in the State with various prizes.
The rewarded CDAs who were empowered with bus facilities include Harmony CDA, Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), which emerged the first position, and the Elepe Royal Estate CDA in Ikorodu Central – second position – for the urban category.
Recognised on the rural category were Oluwanisola CDA in Eredo LCDA, (first position) and the Oke-egan CDA in Olorunda LCDA (second position).
The recognised CDAs excuted various community development projects bordering on electrification, roads and drainages, and security, among other developmental courses.
It would be recalled that the last edition of the celebration witnessed the distribution of three brand new buses to selected best CDAS and financial support up to the tune of N5million Naira.
This year’s celebration, had a total number of 4,025 CDAS, who the Government has recognised for embarking on various developmental projects including grading of roads, constructions of culverts, water projects, health centres, community halls, police-post, Community Schools amongst others.
It was gathered that with about 75 additional Community Development Associations recently registered, the total number of the CDAs for the ongoing year have been scaled up to 4,100 across Lagos State.
In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for what he described as “his vision, sense of commitment and dedication to grassroots development.”
“He is indeed taking Lagos to an enviable level in community development,” he said.
According to him, the Community Day Celebration 2021 was to emphasise and amplify the necessity of development as a strategic factor for socio-economic development and empowerment at the grassroots.
He mentioned that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Consolidating the Ongoing Development in our Various Communities” was apt as the present Administration in the State “is embarking on the expansion of various community developmental projects across all the nooks and crannies of the State.”
He added that the Administration is conscious of the fact that in the overall development of the State, there must be development at the grassroots which he said “is totally people-oriented development, driven by this administration right from the inception.”
“Permit me at this juncture to say that Mr. Governor has recorded so much in this regard and deserves applause for all the bold steps taken, especially with the fulfillment of electoral promises made and which are being fulfilled,” he noted.
He mentioned that the annual programme is in line with the United Nations initiatives for social development and integration at the grassroots.
“The State Government on a yearly basis usually sets aside a day to be observed as ‘Community Day’ to recognize the developmental contribution of various Community Development Association in the areas of self-help projects and overall contributions in the State,” he said.
According to him, this was to encourage and support their various self-help projects.
He appreciated the CDAs for what he described as their “impressive and continuous support for our administration so far.”
The Chairman, Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Azeez Amusat, said Governor Sanwo-Olu has been a catalyst fostering grassroots engagement for development across the State.
“On behalf of all the communities, I wish to express my profound gratitude to our amiable Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who has been the catalyst for all our efforts at ensuring that public participation by all the communities in his Administration is accorded deserved attention and recognition,” he said.
He assured the Governor the continued partnership of all communities in complementing efforts in public safety and security of all residents in the various communities.
He, however , urged the CDCs and CDAs “to put in more collective efforts from this yuletide to promote more attention for adequate security and safety of their various communities in rewarding the empowerment of the leadership training by the State Government geared towards the community policing system.”
“With the wave of insecurity across the Country, it is imperative to rise up to the security needs and challenges that may face our communities in the forthcoming year as leaders in the communities,” he said.
Dr. Oreoluwa Finih, representing the State’s Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, reiterated why citizens in the communities must return to observing the COVID-19 safety protocols.