Politics

Abia to hold Local government elections soon

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The Abia State government says Local Government elections would be conducted in the state as soon as the on-going task of laying solid foundations for the take-off of a credible and formidable Local government systems are completed .

The state commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu who stated this during an interaction with journalists in Umuahia, Monday, said that it was for the purpose of fast-tracking the processes, policies and cleaning-up the rut in the collapsed Local Government system in the state over the years, that the present administration appointed reputable and knowledgeable men and women as mayors.

“They are charged with the responsibility of putting the Local Government Areas in the right perspectives as a way of changing the narratives,” he said. “Before now, appointments of local government functionaries were for ‘the boys’ who mainly confined themselves to making returns for their masters, without any considerations for competence, knowledge, worth or credibility”.

According the Commissioner, the Gov. Otti-led administration has given out money to various local governments to revamp and re-shape all the Local Government headquarters to make them environmentally friendly as well as put better structures and policies in place.

His words: “We now have accessible roads leading to local government headquarters. Their premises now look neat and friendly; workers now come early to work and close at the appointed time; as against the cases in the past.

“We are checking the over bloated workforce there. We will ensure that records and files are kept clean, ensure we put the correct machineries in- place as well as put right personnel who can keep the system working. We are busy putting in place solid foundations to revamp the overall collapsed system. Once we have done what we should do for effective take-off of sound local government administration, within one month, we shall conduct our local government elections to elect their functionaries”.

Earlier during the interaction, the state Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu described the “One Year in the life of the present administration ”, as impactful , eventful and a period of proper definition of what governance ought to be.

He announced that as part of the one year anniversary celebration and in-line with the infrastrure-agenda of the administration of Governor Otti, he will commission five more roads: three in Aba , while two will be in Umuahia, all of which are executed by direct labour. Otti will also commission the newly completed JACK building , which was abandoned by the previous administration.

As he put it, “The present government in the state is putting every professional in the state service on their toes. In all the jobs we are doing in the state, we involve our engineers, surveyors and other professionals in the Ministry, instead of contracting such jobs out to contractors”.

Still on activities to mark the One year in office, Kanu hinted that the ceremonies would be “work- in- progress, rather than celebrations galore (as used tobe the case in the past 23 years). It is not time to celebrate yet. At the right time, we shall celebrate. “

According to the Information boss, the activities will start with town hall meetings at the headquarters of each of the three senatorial zones of the state, namely; Ohafia, Umuahia and Aba, respectively. Abia North will kickstart the meeting on 23rd, Umuahia on 24th, while Aba comes up on 28th May, 2024. The governor will be expected to make a Radio and television broadcast to the people of Abia state on 29th May, 2024.

In his own contribution, the SA to the governor on Media and Publication, Ferdinand Ekeoma disclosed that the value of projects abandoned by previous administrations is estimated at N4 billion and that the Otti- administration has so far spent about N1.5 billion to complete some of them, including Roads, electricity and buildings.

Said he: ”We do not want to overlook any project started but abandoned by previous administrations. We don’t want to overlook any project started with Tax-payers money and abandoned by previous administrations, probably for lack of funds to complete them.”

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