Opinion: Beyond Winning the Local Government Elections

Ben Udechukwu

Dear Elected Local Government Chairman,

May I first congratulate you for winning the just concluded local government elections. I am aware that this is not the best time to hold political office. However, you have an opportunity of rising to the occasion, given the different shades of excruciating pangs of econonic depression.

During your inuaguration, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Ph.D, admonished you to be development partners. This to me, sums up the very essence of your venturing in the first place to seek the people’s mandate. Our dear Governor is in dire need of Local Government Chairmen who would not merely add to the number, or those who would grow their personal economies, or become confirmed onlookers, those who are out to achieve mischief. He is in dire need of those who have sense, those who must work out enduring formula for the delivery of welfare policies, persons who are driven by public and not selfish interest. He is in dire need of men who would replicate his development drives in all the nooks and crannies of our communities, those who know their left from their right.

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, addressing the Chairmen and their Deputies shortly before they were sworn-in

Let me remind you that the narratives have changed as there is but an insignificant tiny line separating the rural areas and our cities. It is your ingenuity that would make the difference. You must be that bridge that connects a seamless transition from a rustic and outlandish rural life to that where amenities and infrastructure would fourish.

Please, do not be a salary paying elected Chairman. It would mean, we didn’t need you in the first place. You must think outside the box to justify the huge amount of goodwill expended in electing you. Note however that any month you fail to pay salaries, you justify the speculation that you have no business being a Council Chairman, in the first place.

Always stay around your people, identify with their ideals and aspirations. Yes! Stay back to assess their NEEDS. If you do not find that village life convenient, please resign honourably. Our resources are too lean to sponsor the frivolities of an absentee Chairman.

Please, be creative. I say this because virtually all the local.governments in Abia have one dominat self sustaining resource which remains yet untapped. It is only a development oriented mind that would figure this out. The Council is not a domestic appendage of your personal business. You mùst draw a line between you and the mandate to develop hundreds of thousands of people living in your area.

The new LG Chairmen, taking oaths of office

When you get to the Council, please shut the temptation of receiving and or sponsoring awards. The only valid award you will deserve is making great impact in the minds of the thousand rural dwellers who look up to you for quality welfare. We do not wish you mark your own scripts. We encourage you to be sharply focused.

You must keep it at the back of your mind that many villages and communities suffer from unprecedented dearth of infrastructure. You must identify with these challenges as the Governor’s alter ego. You must see yourself as a formidable partner in progress.

We expect that before contemplating this seeming thankless venture, you shall have thought it through. You must be aware that most local councils are battling with meagre resources. We will take it for granted that you already factored this into your plans, going forward. You must be part of the solution and not the problem itself.

In the name of God, I beseech you to keep your head cool, be modest and exhibit the overall tempermemet of a Council Boss. It is obvious that if you play your part in working out sustainable development plans, we shall have developed comprehensively as a people

Finally, you must be reminded that truly, yoi are the last hope of the common man. Your everyday conduct must depict prudence, resourcefulness, creativity, development partnership and most importantly voice of the hundreds of thousands who depend on you for survival.

Udechukwu , a pubic affairs analyst writes from Umuahia

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