Since the Lagos state house of assembly gave the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas chairmen the marching order to perform or face the wrath of the people, one chairman that has been running helter skelter is the chairman of Itire-Ikate LCDA, Ahmed Apatira.
This stems from the fact that his performance is nothing to write home about. The four projects he claimed to have executed were shrouded in secrecy.
Besides, the vice chairman, Yetunde Jimba, who is the chairman of the council tenders board, does not know anything about contract awards or the actual allocation acrue to the council monthly.
The whole issue was revealed when the Lagos state house of Assembly summoned the council chairman to give account of his stewardship based on allegation of misappropriation and running the council like his personal fiefdom recently.
Apatira was said to be running from pillar to post during the meeting with the lawmakers. Allegation of nepotism against Apatira is so rife that even when he travelled to Mecca for the holy pligrimmage, he refused to hand over to his deputy.
Instead, Apatira, who runs the council with few officials, also ensured that his girlfriend was given the ‘juicy’ supervisor for works in order to cover his track. The lady, Mariam Balaraba, who hails from Nasarawa in the north central of Nigeria, is the unofficial deputy chairman. She decides who gets what in the council.
The matter, however, came to the open on Monday, November 13, 2023, during the stakeholders meeting at the council secretariat.
The meeting tagged ‘2024 Budget Consultative Stakeholders Forum’, the achievements of the council chairman, and how the palliatives sent by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu were distributed to the people was scrutinized.
On the palliatives, the elders were not too happy that Apatira got money for the palliatives four times from Governor Sanwo-Olu but managed to distribute only twice. Even at that, most of the poor people who were given tickets for the palliatives were not given anything. The leaders were surprised that Apatira had not been transparent with the palliatives.
On his performance, four projects were listed: Renovation of a health centre, Construction of Oshofisan Link Road; Construction of Customary Court, and Construction of Ijesha Police Station. All these were done without the knowledge of the vice chairman, councillors, and some supervisors as to how much the council expended on the projects.
A leader in the area told Newsnowonline.com.ng that the poor performance of most of the council chairmen in Lagos State was responsible for the poor performance of the APC in the presidential and national assembly elections where that Party was trounced by relatively unknown Labour Party.
He said; ” The council chairmen are the closest to the grassroots, and their actions or inactions will affect the ruling party.
“Though, we have some of the chairmen that are exceptional, but most of them are just there, doing little or nothing to what Governor Sanwo-Olu is doing to alleviate people’s poverty.”
It’s not clear what will happen to Apatira next as the Lagos Assembly has told him that his performance is nothing to write home about.