By David Ndife
The 21 local government transition committee chairmen in Anambra State have held a three-dayself-revaluation and best local governance strategy retreat/One Year Anniversary celebration in Awka.
The retreat which was tagged “One Year of Localizing the Solution Agenda in Anambra State, Issues and Prospects”, was aimed at enhancing capacity building, effective management and control, financial prudence and general administration for effective leadership, rules of law, and general responsibilities of local government councils as the third-tier of government.
The event which took place at Golden Tulip Hotel, Agulu, last weekend, had in attendance, top government functionaries among whom were the Commissioner for Environment, Hon Felix Odimegwu; Chairman of Anambra State Local Government Service Commission, Barr Vin Ezeaka; Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government Affairs, Barr Asha Nnabuife; and Executive Secretary, JACC, Hon Dr Leopold Ikwueto; among others.
Delivering a key note lecture on localizing the Soludo Agenda, a former Aviation Minister, Chief Osita Chidoka, commended Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s administration for appointing the TC chairmen, describing it as a necessary team for achieving his mandate for Ndi Anambra.
He also lauded the TC chairpersons for what he termed their selfless service in their various local governments and urged the council chairmen not to take the issue of insecurity lightly in their various council areas.
According to him, the issue of insecurity should not be the responsibility of the chairmen alone, but that of all the relevant stakeholders being involved actively for the menace to be curbed.
Chidoka suggested to Governor Soludo to consider the creation of what he called Community WhatsApp Groups across the 181 communities in the state in order to help curb the Insecurity menace. He noted that the WhatsApp groups would enable the admitted members to provide necessary information, especially, concerning insecurity (alerts or threats to communities) for prompt action.
‘The WhatsApp groups, if created, should have the State Governor; the State Commissioner of Police; the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Council Area Divisional Police Officers (DPO); traditional rulers, religious heads; Presidents General; Women and Youth leaders; Motor Parks and Market leaders and Vigilante group as members and also the TC Chairmen, to serve as Administration Officers to help monitor community activities for effective governance and transformational development,’ he added.
Also speaking, the Chief of Staff to Governor Soludo, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, who represented the governor, for his part, enjoined the TC Chairmen and other community stakeholders, to ensure their youths imbibed the right values and avoid destructive vices, like violence and drug abuse and also to keep their environment clean at all time.
He urged the Council Chairmen to replicate same strategies and footsteps while working hand in hand with town union and community leaders, to take every new development to the rural communities
Contributing, the Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon. Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, in his speech, urged the chairmen to be good managers and to always engage traditional rulers, religious leaders and community Presidents General in their decision-making, if the council areas under their watch must grow and develop.
In their separate interviews, the Ihiala TC Chairman, Hon. Kingsley Obi; Ekwusigo LGA, Hon. Chimezie Obi; Onitsha South LGA, Hon. Joseph Emeka Orji and their Ogbaru Council counterpart, Hon. Chidiebere Pascal Anaegbunam; while commending Governor Soludo for his encouragement and support in their one-year in office, commended him for giving them the right platform to perform and excel beyond expectations in a short while.
While decrying insecurity as one of the major setbacks for their effective performance, the TC Chairmen assured their firm resolve to implore every necessary measures in ensuring a conducive environment for peaceful activities, especially during festivities, and promised to practicalize the retreat lessons in their various council areas and assured the Governor of internalizing the core vision of his administration to be able to function well.
In a vote of thanks on behalf of their colleagues the Chairman of Aguata LGA, Dr. Chibueze Ofobuike, who is also the Chairman, Retreat Planning Committee and his Ayamelum counterpart who also doubles as the Chairman of the 21 Transition Committee Chairmen, Chief Livinus Onyenwe while appreciating Governor Soludo and the guest speaker, recounted their successes so far. They went further to request for more robust security measures in tackling the security challenges in order to perform more.
Highlights of the retreat were lectures, an interactive session, prayers and a special thanksgiving Mass at Retreat Center, Okpuno, Awka, to wrap up the event.