Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Thursday, inaugurated the newly elected Chairmen and Deputies of the 17 Local Government Areas of the State, amid jubilation.
Inaugurating the new Council Chairmen and their Deputies, who were all elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Gov. Ugwuanyi charged them to hit the ground running in the delivery of democracy dividends to their constituents “while prioritizing the security and welfare of the people as enshrined in Section 14 Subsection 2 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended”.
Reiterating his administration’s stance that “all Local Government Council Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen must reside in their constituencies, amongst the people that have given them the opportunity to superintend over their affairs”, Gov. Ugwuanyi enjoined them to strive to activate the rural economy and improve the security of their neighbourhoods.
“As Chief Security Officers of your Local Government Areas, you must be vigilant and facilitate the deliberate and proactive gathering and sharing of intelligence amongst security agencies to inform their counter-terrorism initiatives.
“This compels a sustained strategic engagement of all stakeholders in security including Traditional Rulers, Presidents General of Town Unions, Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Forest Guards, Youths and Road Transport Workers within your area of jurisdiction.
“You must therefore be focused and dedicated to the task at hand; to do otherwise is to prepare a recipe for failure. If we secure all our communities, our Local Government Areas will be secure; and if we secure all our Local Government Areas, our dear state will be secure and vice versa. I am confident that you will do the needful and I assure you of our profound support.
“As you celebrate, I inform you that you have now transitioned from Party (PDP) Flagbearer to Public Servants. I remind you that there is work to be done”, the governor said.
Speaking on the electoral processes that brought the new Chairmen and their deputies on board, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that the landslide victories recorded by the new Council Chairmen and Deputies in the February 23, 2022 Local Government Elections were “testaments to the propriety of their choices as well as the trust and confidence that the good people of Enugu State repose in the Peoples Democratic Party in the State, under my leadership”.
The governor, therefore, used the opportunity to “convey the gratitude of the leadership and members of the PDP to the people of Enugu State for believing in us and expressing same, overwhelmingly, in the just concluded Local Government polls”.
Pointing out that the swearing-in exercise will be the last, under his watch, Gov. Ugwuanyi stated that his administration has been consistent with the provisions of Section 7 Subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended which guarantees a system of Local Government by democratically elected Local Government Councils.
“It has been our considered choice to provide great hope, opportunity and platform for democratic, responsible and accountable governance at this tier of Government by ensuring that the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) is adequately resourced to discharge her statutory duty of periodic conduct of Local Government Elections in the State.
“I laud the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) for the successful conduct of the last Local Government Elections in the State. These elections have been adjudged as credible, free, fair and transparent by body of Civil Society Organizations’ Observers and, correspondingly, the outcomes are acceptable to the good people of Enugu State”, he added.
Gov. Ugwuanyi thanked the immediate past Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen for the services they rendered and wished them the best in their future endeavours “while hoping that you will be willing to serve in other capacities when requested to do so”.
The governor equally appreciated members of the PDP for the resilience and unity of purpose with which they attended to the last Local Government Elections in the State.
In his goodwill message, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his focused leadership and remarkable accomplishments in office in spite of the nation’s challenges.
Rt. Hon. Ubosi went further to applaud the governor for his consistency in conducting Local Government Elections in the state since he assumed office.
The Speaker thanked the people of Enugu State for voting massively for the PDP during the Local Government Polls and urged the new Chairmen to always be close and open to their people so that they will have a sense of belonging and support the government in delivering democratic dividends and ensuring peace and security.
Praying for the new Chairmen and their Deputies, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr. Ernest Obodo, joined Gov. Ugwuanyi in charging the Council Chairmen and Deputies to reside in their localities to concentrate and attend to the needs of their constituents.
Bishop Obodo, who represented Bishop Callistus Onaga of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for “the just concluded peaceful Local Government elections in Enugu State” describing him as “our peace loving Governor”.
His advice: “My dear beloved Chairmen, now the campaigns are over, the chips are down. You must stamp your feet on the sands of history. Bend down to work. Go back to your respective local government areas and stay there to work. Be responsible and accountable to your people.
“I ask God to bless you. Remember you are still children of God. Do not abandon God; do not abandon the people; they are the people who gave you power; listen to them; work for them; pray with them”.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Barr. Peter Okonkwo urged the new Chairmen and their Deputies to be dedicated to their duties and display exemplary leadership qualities that would justify the overwhelming mandate given to them by the people of the state.
He advised them to make probity and accountability the watch words of their administration, stressing that his Ministry will live up to its mandate of evaluating their performance.
Dignitaries at the colourful and well attended ceremony include the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Raymond Ozoemena, the former Governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, his wife, Dorothy, Senator Chukwuka Utazi of Enugu North Senatorial District and other members of the National Assembly, former Deputy Governor of the State, Bishop Ralph Nwoye; the State Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Augustine Nnamani, Senator Ben Collins Ndu; Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi, members of the State House of Assembly and State Executive Council (EXCO), State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Emmanuel Edeh,Traditional Rulers, youth and women groups, among others.