*Charges them to raise their performance bar in line with government’s rural development agenda
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday swore in the 17 local government chairmen and their deputies to run the affairs of the council areas, charging them to discharge their mandates honestly, effectively and creditably in line with the oath office and “the aggressive rural development efforts of the state government”.
Addressing the newly elected council chairmen and deputies, after swearing them in at a colourful ceremony held at the popular Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, Gov. Ugwuanyi also mandated them to ensure that all campaign promises were fulfilled in full measures, re-emphasizing the need for them to reside in their respective council areas to discharge their duties, effectively.
The governor noted that the local government is the nearest tier of government to the greater majority of the people, saying that “unless you dwell among them as their elected leaders and wear the same shoe as the people, you may never know where it hurts”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who appreciated the people of the state for electing the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a most peaceful manner during the Local Government Elections, also thanked the independent observers and 37 out of the 40 registered political parties for rating “the exercise as the freest, fairest, most peaceful, transparent, and credible council election in Nigeria’s recent history.”
He equally commended the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) “for the professional management of the entire electoral process and for setting a noble standard, which its counterparts will struggle for many years to match”, and assured the commission of his administration’s continued support to enable it perform its constitutional duty for the citizens to freely exercise their franchise.
According to him, “This is what matters most because the process of an election is always more significant than its outcome”, stressing that the PDP won overwhelmingly because it campaigned vigorously in the local government areas, electoral wards, communities, village meetings, trade unions, markets, kindred, places of worship, and homes soliciting for votes.
He noted that his administration is currently creating more urban centres within the rural areas to make life enjoyable and catalyze more economic opportunities for the people across the three senatorial districts of the state, adding that the government is equally working towards upgrading all the District Hospitals in the state to state-of-the-art medical facilities to ensure that the people of the state do not have to travel a long distance to the urban areas to access quality healthcare services.
Recalling that the state government recently awarded multiple contracts for rural infrastructure, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that the contractors have been mobilized to sites in fulfillment of his administration’s commitment to aggressive rural development initiatives, revealing that the first quarter of 2018 will witness a major agricultural revolution across the state.
He added that the agricultural revolution will not only ensure food security for the people, but also economic empowerment of the rural dwellers, stressing that “the days of dependence on white-collar jobs are gone” as the vision of his administration is to make agriculture attractive to the teeming population of the state, especially the youth, through mechanized farming, provision of quality agricultural inputs and professional advice.
“Let me also assure Ndi Enugu that the government has set a benchmark for all the councils to ensure that they deliver not only quality dividends of democracy to the people, but that they also do so in an equitable manner.
“This administration is averse to cronyism and nepotism. You were elected to serve the people, irrespective of their political inclinations or their choices at the polls. Importantly, every part of each local government and ward must have its fair share of the blessings and opportunities that democracy offers”, Gov. Ugwuanyi advised.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman of Uzo-Uwani L.G.A, Barr. Fidelis Ani, thanked the governor and the people of the state for the trust and confidence they reposed in them to pilot the affairs of the 17 council areas, adding that they were aware of the task before them and promised that they will discharge their duties effectively to the satisfaction of the people of the state.