By Chukwudi Nweje – Acting Features Editor
As part of efforts to ensure the emergence of the best governor in Lagos State come 2015, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), in collaboration with People’s Action for Democracy (PAD), will organise a town hall meeting for all governorship aspirants in Lagos State, regardless of their political party.
Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of CACOL, who spoke on behalf of the two groups in Lagos on Monday, said the meeting is “an apolitical forum aimed at bringing the various aspirants from across the political parties face-to-face with relevant stakeholders in Lagos.”
Adeniran said the town hall meeting is not a debate but a discussion, where the governorship aspirants, stakeholders and other professional groups in Lagos State would meet and discuss how to usher in a new Lagos that would be to the benefit of every resident.
He said: “The town hall meeting is an apolitical, open parliament that will discuss the course of Lagos State and Lagosians.
“During the discussion, Lagosians will ask the political aspirants questions on the policies and programmes they intend to pursue and the timeframe within which to execute such programmes.
“It will provide the people of Lagos State, professional groups and relevant stakeholders the opportunity to interrogate the aspirants on the programmes and policies they intend to pursue or execute in government and the timeframe within which to execute such programmes, if they secure their party ticket and are eventually elected when the governorship election holds on February 14, 2015.
“It is not a debate and it is not the voice of any political party or any political aspirant. Any candidate that will not do Lagosians the kind of good that will be satisfactory will not be supported.”
Adeniran said that the town hall meeting became imperative because, unless the various political parties put forward a tested and trusted candidate as their standard-bearer, the people would not have a good candidate to choose from on election day. He also said that more than 500 of residents, representing the different local government areas, would be in attendance to raise questions about the aspirants’ histories.
“The aspirants would be shown the faults in their submissions and each aspirant would be allowed to make amendments on the earlier submissions. If they made a mistake, they would admit it and if they have not, they would be told point-blank that this is not what the people want.
“There and then, Lagosians will be able to make up their minds and they will be urged to constitute themselves into a body that will champion the course of Lagos State, not of any candidate.”
Governorship aspirants who have indicated interest in attending the town hall meeting, holding at Yard 158, The Events Arena, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos, on Thursday, include the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and Tayo Ayinde, aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Jimi Agbaje and Akintoye Branco-Rhodes, both aspiring to become governor on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The discussion with the aspirants would be preceded by a keynote address by Tunji Braithwaite on what governance in Lagos State should be, while Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi, ?Executive Director, Women’s Consortium of Nigeria, would moderate the meeting.