Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, on Monday, inaugurated the 20 local government chairmen who emerged victorious in the local government poll, held on Saturday.
This came even as the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) had earlier in the day, given certificates of return to the new council bosses.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) swept all the seats.
The governor, while addressing the new chairmen at the swearing in ceremony held at the Arcade Ground, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, charged them to ensure they provide good governance at the grassroots.
Abiodun, who noted that the local government is not just a tier of government as stated in the country’s 1999 constitution, as amended, further tasked the chairmen to usher in a new vista of development in their various councils.
While commending the chairmen for stepping out to make themselves available for service and most especially, for the entrenchment of good governance at the grassroots level, the governor noted that “your victory at the poll is a combination of the confidence reposed in your individual abilities, the faith the people have in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to provide the needed development and ensure individual prosperity for our people at the grassroots”.
“It is important that you appreciate the enormity of the responsibility your victory places on your shoulders. The Local Government is not just a tier of government stated in our country’s 1999 constitution, as amended; it is the closest to the people and so much is expected from you. Therefore, your assumption of office must bring a new vista of development to our people at the grassroots.
“In doing this, you must be inclusive; you must be transparent; you must be accountable; you must be fair; you must be just; you must be equitable; you must obey the rule of law; you must provide good governance; you must be judicious. Above all you cannot afford to turn yourselves to Mr or Mrs I know it all”. Abiodun stated.
He urged the newly inaugurated council bosses not to rely exclusively on allocations from the federal government, but be creative in generating funds internally, and incorporate the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model, without over-burdening the people, who according to him, “are the essence and facilitators of your being in power”.
The governor added, “You should take a cue from our approach at the state level by being cerebral; methodical; systemic and ensure strategic allocation of funds. Let me assure you all that our Administration at the State level, will continue to support our LGAs with funds where and when necessary.
“Our administration will continue to formulate policies and implement programmes that are people-friendly. We expect you to replicate same at your level. All these will further bring to fruition the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda. I expect that you will take a cue from us and implement your own Local Government brand of I.S.E.Y.A”.
While commending people of the state for coming our to vote in the local government elections, the governor equally lauded members of the political parties, especially the APC, for making the exercise a success.
Earlier, however, the chairman of the OGSIEC, Mr. Babatunde Osibodu, while issuing the certificates to the new council bosses in Abeokuta, had charged them to be magnanimous and implement people-oriented projects and programmes.
Osibodu urged them to be diligent, listen to the people and work to protect their interest, saying, “even though you have won the contest and have been congratulated, the ideal time for such should be at the end of your tenure when the people will decide whether you merit the congratulations or not”.
“I enjoin you to implement people–oriented projects and programmes, the people have put you there to work and serve them, not to lord it over them.
“Be gracious to your constituents and those who contested against you. It is not because you are better than them that you have succeeded, it is the grace of God, don’t allow success get to your head, remember, it is only a three-year tenure, before you subject yourselves to the people’s verdict”, Osibodu said.
Speaking, chairman, Sagamu Local Government, Mr. Olashile Odulate, promised to deliver good governance, saying his administration would focus on security, agriculture and infrastructure, as well as complement the on-going projects of the Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Odulate appreciated the governor for supporting the call by the President, Mohammadu Buhari for autonomy of Local Government, as it would go a long way in helping them fully execute their blueprint and develop the community more, charging the youth to be resolute in pursuing their dreams and aspirations.
Responding, the chairman, Remo North Local Government, Mr. Adedapo Odunsi, also appreciated the OGSIEC and the people for the peaceful conduct of the poll, promising not to let them down.