What’s Your Local Government Chairman’s Name?

June 6, 2019

Let’s make it easy. Don’t stress about his full government name, what is his last name? Or just his first. Would you recognise him if he walked up to you, handing over some money to support his second term dreams? Chances are, the answer is most likely no.

This is despite the visual assault that is campaigning in Nigeria.  He probably had hundreds and hundreds of posters, emblazoned clearly with his name and party, giving variations of that godawful index finger under the chin politician’s pose, spread across every available square inch available on the street corner.

You know the one.

But did that equate to anyone having the foggiest who his dad is? That’d be a big nope.

This is despite the Local government being the arm of government charged with listening to first hand accounts of how inoperative street lights completely ruin the vibe for night time PDAs .

Same goes for our esteemed spokespersons over at the House of Representatives.  Save those whose varying governmental roles yielded little to no impact, but whose ubiquity made it such that their names and faces are involuntarily ingrained, how many representatives can you name off the top of your head?

4 years in and out, we’re saddled with a bunch of nameless, faceless politicians, who artfully con their way into hefty salaries and allowances. Ideally, they should be cussing out the head-hunchos over at the  federal levels, on behalf of those that voted them into power. But the gag is, for people we voted into power, well, we don’t know them.

Now we might be used to Nigeria being a country of walking contradictions, but some things really do take the cake. How is it that your charge is to be kept abreast of matters directly concerning the community, but somehow the majority of your constituents cannot tell you apart in a line up of 5 random pot-bellied men?

How do you claim to represent my interests when the only times I get to see you are those weird months towards the start of elections when you need to commission the umpteeth borehole project of the last five administrations?

The utter uselessness of these institutions becomes apparent when communities would rather bandy together to whip up vigilante security teams, where threats arise, than seek any resolution form the Local Government chairman, whose literal job it is to make sure communal life is as seamless as is possible.

It becomes doubly apparent when buildings collapse, or airplanes crash, or real life police officers go on citizen hunting rampage and representatives of said area are nowhere to be found.

Now, if you fall into the no doubt over-capacity boat filled with people completely clueless as to the identities of their local government chairmen and representatives, I’m here to tell you there’s absolutely nothing to be bashful about. You’re merely keeping up with their non-committal energies. I love a good gbas gbos.

Boyin Plumptre

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