The Federal Government of Nigeria Holds its First Town Hall Meeting in Lagos

Image/Nigerian Animated Cartoon Series: Adventures of Turtle Taido

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) held its first town hall meeting today in Lagos.

The town hall meeting is one of the concepts behind creating a more “participatory democracy” by the Buhari administration. This town hall meeting was meant to communicate effectively with the citizenry and also to get responses from the masses about the state of the union, within the first twelve months of President Buhari’s term.

According to Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, this town hall meeting was intended to meet with a large section of the Nigerian society. The composition of the audience included traditional rulers, student bodies, labor unions, and members of the opposition party PDP.

Image/Kingsley Nmbah

The discussion at the town hall meeting centered largely on the foreign trips of President Buhari, which has stirred up a lot of criticism.

The ministers present at the town hall meeting were Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs; Okechukwu Enelamah, Trade, Investment and Industry, Raji Fashola, SAN Power, Works and Housing; Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Transport and Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Petroleum Resources.

The ministers that attended this historic meeting gave speeches about what they were doing for Nigerian people from their representative posts.

The event was sponsored by the Bank of Industry (BoI). Other dignitaries like Dr. Idiat Adebule, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, chairmen of local governments and members of the House of Assembly were also present.

The town hall-style meeting will be held in each of the different geopolitical zones namely Kaduna, Maiduguri, Jos, Owerri, Benin, Ibadan while the select cities are Lagos, Abuja and Kano.

Contrarily, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to make their opinion known about the town hall meeting using the hashtags #FGNTownHall and #FGNTownHallMeeting. Some of the comments show that Nigerians are really hungry (literally); angry and frustrated.

@nzedelaw wrote: This so called #FGNTownHallMeeting sef? What new is coming out of it apart from the Usual old failed promises?

Some other sentiments are that this is a campaign to divert the attention of Nigerians from the major issues bothering the lives of people such as the civil conflict between Fulani and Agatus herdsmen and the epileptic electricity supply, which has stalled many small and medium scale industries.