Bauchi governor charges elected LG chairmen to be closer to their people
Barely few hours after they were declared winners, the 20 newly elected Local Government Councils Chairmen in Bauchi State have been sworn in with a charge to ensure that they are closer to their people at the grassroots knowing fully well that democracy thrives more at that level of governance.
Governor Bala Mohammed gave the charge on Sunday during the swearing-in ceremony of the elected chairmen held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Bauchi, warning them not to desert the people who elected them into office.
Bala Mohammed said that working closely with their people at the grassroots would enable them to justify the confidence reposed in them by the electorate.
He told them that their tenure is for a period of two years as contained in the Local Government Administration Law, noting that their political career is connected to the success or failure.
Bala Mohammed strongly called on them to pay serious attention to the management of the scarce resources available by concentrating on projects and programmes that will add value to the lives of the rural dwellers.
The governor also tasked them to be on the same page with his administration in the ongoing efforts to sanitize the state payroll in order to free resources for the execution of developmental projects saying, “we want to improve the human capital at the local government councils because that is the place to be in order to grow our economy and our people.”
He said that: “I am highly delighted to welcome you to this very historic event, the swearing-in ceremony of our newly elected local government council chairmen, who along with their deputies were successful in a keenly and hotly contested election. It is historic because an election of the type we just witnessed, was last conducted in the state some 12 years ago.”
The governor added that “I am personally grateful to Allah for granting our government the political will to conduct the election in fulfilment of our campaign promise. God gave our party, the PDP victory, we will never take it for granted.”
He also directed the elected local government chairmen to engage in community policing in an efforts to ensure peace and security for effective implementation of his policies and programmes at rural areas.
“I expect you to be very vigilant in the area of security and assist in reporting any activity that is likely to cause a security breach. This is proof that we are deepening and we are doing it the way it should be. We thank the people of Bauchi for electing these sons into the various local government councils,” he said.
Bala Mohammed added, “I urge you to know that it is not Bala Mohammed, the governor, that brought them to power, it is Allah that gives power and he used the people of Bauchi to bring you into positions of responsibility. And you know what happened behind, a lot of stakeholding.”
He further said that: “We are not just imposing people on the people, we allowed democracy to take its natural course, primaries, stakeholding, even the little money allowed by BASIEC for campaigning was contributed by stakeholders, not by the government of Bauchi State and this can be attested by the display of pedigree and human capital that the people of Bauchi have been able to elect into the councils.”
He reminded them that, “as local government chairmen, you are the first level of responsibility as Chief Security Officers. We have a lot of problems of security, we at the level of the state government cannot do it without you, you and our natural rulers, the Emirs, the District Heads, the Village Heads and the rest, you have the primary responsibility of ensuring that our people are safe and secure.
“You must be able to engage the people in terms community engagement and you must engage our stakeholders who participated and contributed positively on bringing you into the office while maintaining your own independence and autonomy as leaders,” he advised.
He charged them that, “I don’t want anybody to micro-manage you, I don’t want anybody to come and say he has made you, I didn’t make you and none of the people made you. At the same time, you must have gratitude, you must show respect to our traditional institutions, you must show respect to our party leaders at the local government areas.
“So you must take a midcourse position of maintaining your leadership position and respecting everybody. The leadership of Bauchi is not driven by arrogance or impunity and yet, we are not weak. We take our time to do it and at the same time, we respect everybody,” he also said.
The newly elected chairman of Alkaleri Local Government, Alhaji Yusuf Garba who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, announced their readiness to deepen democracy in line with the exemplary leadership of Governor Bala Mohammed.
Garba expressed gratitude to the entire citizens of the state for giving them the opportunity and pledged to justify the confidence reposed in them.
The oaths of office and allegiance were administered on the council leaders by Justice Hamidu Kunaza who represented the Bauchi State Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Umar.