Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday, tasked the newly elected chairmen of 19 local government councils in Kaduna State just to be fair to all without discrimination.
The governor also advised the caretaker committee chairmen for the four local government councils of the state where elections were inconclusive or subject to litigation to adhere strictly to the oath of office they have taken.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at General Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo, el-Rufai, urged the council chairmen to settle down quickly and start delivering dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots who gave them the mandate.
el-Rufai said:” From whatever party you have emerged, you are today assuming a sacred mandate to do right by all our people, in accordance with the laws of the land and the oaths you have freely sworn. Please let service to our people be your priority!
Since 2015, this government has spent considerable time and effort to reform the local government system so that it can deliver public service at the grassroots. When we came into office, we inherited a local government system that was doing little more than paying its own employees”
“At least eight of these local governments could not even pay their staff salaries without assistance from the state government. These troubled local governments had been sustained by a perverse and unfair system that took money from solvent local governments to pay the staff. Rather than inquire into the causes of the financial difficulties of the affected LGs, and taking remedial steps to address them, the previous government chose to penalise those without financial problems.”
“We have taken careful steps to reform the local government system for performance and service delivery. This government has addressed the capacity deficit by directing the recruitment of professionals, including lawyers, engineers and architects for the local government service. Clear establishments have been prescribed and implemented for each LGA to ensure that they have just the optimal number of personnel. And we have restored every local government to solvency.”
“With the kind support of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, we have enacted a new local government administration law. The law places governance at the local level on the presidential system model. While executive powers shall vest in the chairmen, the elected councillors shall constitute the legislative arm. Specific roles are assigned to the vice-chairmen, and supervisory councillors. I urge the new chairmen to study this law carefully. The Ministry of Local Government Affairs has organised a retreat to fully acquaint you with the new system of local government, and I urge your full participation for the greater good of the state”
“The retreat will explain your vital role in ensuring coordinated development across the state, using the local government development plan, and your membership of the State Economic Planning Board.
The people of Kaduna State have chosen those to lead them at the local level, and they have chosen you in elections conducted using electronic voting. This state government took the conscious decision to adopt this innovation, to promote election integrity”
“Let me end this by going back to my first appeal to the chairmen assembled here today. It is God that entrusts power to whom He chooses. God has chosen you to be the leader of all citizens in your local government areas without regard to their political, ethnic or religious persuasion. You are, from today, custodians of a sacred trust. You must therefore be fair, just and reasonable in all your dealings, decisions and interactions. You must not discriminate against those that did not vote for you. Neither should you favour those with whom you share the same ethnicity or religion as that will offend your oath of office” the governor said.
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