The award presentation saw notable personalities from the local government, in attendance.
The roll call included the Executive Chairman of the Local Government, Honourable Daini Sesan, honourable councilors, members and the leadership of CDAs and CDCs; and APC party stalwarts.
The programme, which took place in the Councilors’ Chambers at the local government, kick-started with an opening prayer.
When it was time for the award presentation, Engr. Dozie Nwankodu, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Review Online Journal, gave more insight into the awards.
He stated that The Review, among other things, is poised to deepen transparency and accountability in governance through its investigative journalism approach.
“We are here today to honour a man we never met before, but whom in the finest context of purposeful, visionary, responsible and responsive grassroots governance and development, has exemplified that leadership is a function commitment and drive for the good of the populace.
“Good governance is a function of vision. And investigative journalism ensures that governments are held accountable through periodic appraisals to deepen development, while rewarding excellent performances”
The publisher further stated that the Eko Grassroots Governance Awards was a vision conceptualised in 2017 by the online journal to ensure that governments in Lagos State were accountable to the public while maintaining transparency on policy framework and implementations.
That vision also sought to induce healthy competition within the elected officials in Lagos, in order to drive development across the state, while recognising those that have distinguished themselves in delivering dividends of democracy.
He also emphasised that good governance can only thrive when it becomes grassroots – centric.
The yearly awards, with 2020 being its maiden edition seeks to recognise outstanding achievements of public office holders in Lagos, drawn from local council areas, ( LGAs/LCDAs), State and the National Assembly, who have prioritised and internalised good grassroots governance culture with result-oriented policies and implementations for the overall development of their localities / constituencies.
“The awards become necessary so as to induce healthy developmental culture and competitiveness that would continuously give Lagos State huge edge ahead of others. It also seeks to ensure that elected public office holders embrace and integrate grassroots development more in their policies, taking cognisant that no meaningful development can be achieved without using the bottom top approach”, Mr. Nwankodu stated
The sectors which the local council nominees were appraised by the Panel of Judges included Health, Education, Security, Infrastructure,
Youth and Women Empowerment.
He further highlighted award categories as follows:
1. LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL
1a.The Most Outstanding Council Chairman of the Year on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development. Lagos – West.
1b. The Most Outstanding Council Chairman of the Year on Governance Sustainable Grassroots Development. Lagos – East.
1c. The Most Outstanding Council Chairman of the Year on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development, Lagos – Central.
(1d) The Most Outstanding Local Council Chairman of the Year on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development, Lagos State.
2. STATE ASSEMBLY
The Most Outstanding State Legislator of the Year on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development, Lagos State
3. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY-
HOUSE OF REPS
The Most Outstanding Federal House of Representatives of the Year on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development, Lagos State.
The Most Outstanding Senator of the Year, on Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development, Lagos State.
5. Most Outstanding Councilor of the Year, Lagos State.
Reiterating on the processes for the emergence of Hon. Arowolo as the winner of the award, The Review publisher stated that voting and nominations officially kick- started in May 13, and ended June 14, 2020. And it was openned to the public via SMS, using a dedicated phone line.
He maintained that consequent upon collation and verification by the Allen and Anne Consulting, an independent auditing firm, seventy-two councilors across Lagos State were noted to have been voted to jostle for the award
Speaking on the final confirmation of the winners, he said, “The final affirmation and confirmation of the Winner was upon verification of ‘Documents of Achievements’, which were submitted by the Nominees, and verified by the Panel of Judges comprising the Editorial Board of The Review, as well as astute politicians of the opposition political parties, civil rights activists, and labour leaders.
“It was after these rigorous processes including physical verifications of project sites that Honourable MKO Arowolo won the coveted awards as ‘The Most Outstanding Councilor on Good Governance and Sustainable Grassroots Development’, in the whole of Lagos State.
Presenting the award to Honourable Arowolo, the Local Council Chairman, Hon. Daini Sesan, praised Arowolo, describing him as a man with deep conviction on anything he sets to do. He further stated that it was through aggressive pursuance of his projects that made him win the award.
In his own remark, the Editorial Director of The Review Mr. Paul Ocheke, also showered encomium on Hon. Arowolo for working in tandem with his vision for the good of his people, and spending every Kobo, including personal resources at his disposal on meaningful development, when others were busy lamenting lean resources.
While reeling out what Hon. Arowolo stands to gain as an awardee of the Eko Grassroots Governance Awards, the Editorial Director tasked the Igbogbo Local Government and the people of Owode / Ibeshe to continue to give Hon. Arowolo the maximum support for adequate representation.
“In addition to what the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Engr. Dozie Nwankodu has said. It is noteworthy that as the winner of our awards, you are automatically inducted into the ‘Grassroots Governance Hall of Fame’, the first-of-its-kind in Africa. And as a member, all your governance activities and strides would be periodically published by The Review Online Journal.
“You would also be invited as Guest Speaker on conferences bordering good governance and development, organised by The Review and her affiliates.
“Similarly, you are to be featured in the upcoming online television interview programme, ‘The Score-card’, to be hosted by The Review TV.
“We are using this opportunity to say thank you for a job well done and to encourage you to do more”, he added.
In his remark, the Award recipient, Hon. MKO Arowolo reiterated his commitment to do more for his people. He described leadership as a call to service, and encouraged those that never won for this year, to continuously strive, and that it could be their turn tomorrow.
He thanked The Review, organisers of the Eko Grassroots Governance Awards (E.G.G.A), for founding him worthy to clinch the award, while dedicating it to God and the People of Owode / Ibeshe CDA and CDC for their unalloyed support. He promised never to relent in his quest to better the lots of his people.
Dignitaries at event took turn to extol the leadership virtues of Hon. Arowolo, and prayed that God would continue to imbue him with immeasurable wisdom for true leadership which he has been noted for.
It would be recalled that on July 23, 2020, Honourable Alabi Kolade David, the Chairman of Bariga Local Council, won the awards for Lagos East and Lagos State in general, under the Local Government category.