Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Monday, inaugurated the newly-elected Chairmen of the seventeen local government areas in the state and their deputies amid excitement, charging them not to betray the overwhelming confidence reposed in their leadership capacities and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the electorate.
The Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), on Sunday, declared candidates of the PDP winners of Chairmanship and Councillorship seats contested in all the 17 Local Government Areas and 260 electoral wards in the state, respectively and issued Certificates of Return to the new Chairmen, accordingly.
Speaking during the inauguration, Gov. Ugwuanyi expressed delight that the people of the state turned out in their numbers to elect the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the PDP in all the 17 LGAs and 260 electoral wards, and enjoined the newly-inaugurated chairmen and councillors to “exercise your popular mandates with the fear of God”.
The colourful event was well attended by dignitaries and party leaders, including Senator Ike Ekweremadu and other members of the National Assembly from the state, Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi and his colleagues, State Chairman of PDP, Hon. Augustine Nnamani and members of his executives.
Others included Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Senator Fidelis Okoro, Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu, former National Woman Leader of PDP, Chief Mrs. Josephine Anenih, former State Chairmen of PDP (Dr. Charles Egumgbe, Engr. Vita Abba, Chief Ikeje Asogwa), revered traditional rulers, among others.
The governor also charged the chairmen to lead with utmost sense of transparency, accountability, probity, and humaneness, advising that “in very difficult economic times like this, your government must wear a human face and work to lift our people out of poverty”.
He told them that “you must work diligently to execute the constitutional responsibilities of the third tier of government to help us to catalyze rural development and economy”.
According to him, “We want to see competitive development in the construction and maintenance of feeder roads, health facilities, primary educational facilities, portable water, rural electrification, and investment in agriculture, among others”.
While acknowledging the untiring efforts of his administration in enhancing the security of the state, Gov. Ugwuanyi further charged the new Chairmen to complement the state government’s efforts and prioritize security and peace in their respective local governments, for the state to achieve more progress.
“To effectively do this, I expect you to live among your people in line with our understanding ahead of the election. Make yourselves very accessible to the people, interact with them regularly, feel their pulse constantly in order to serve and secure them better.
“Our administration frowns seriously at absenteeism or running of your respective Councils from outside your localities; and we hope that no Council Chairman or Councillor tests our resolve in this regard”, the governor said.
Reiterating his administration’s continued support and respect for the autonomy of the Local Government Councils, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that “there shall be no interferences whatsoever in the running of the Councils”, adding: “Instead we will continue to synergize with the Councils to better the lots of the rural areas where the overwhelming populations of our people live”.
He, therefore, told the council chairmen that “your loyalty is to God and the country; and your commitment is to the people”.
On the peaceful and successful outcome of the Local Government elections, as was publicly confirmed by the independent, accredited observers, the governor pointed out that the feat was as a result of the premium his administration places on “the quality and purity of the electoral process in Enugu State”.
He, therefore, applauded the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) and the security agencies for providing the necessary resources and environment “for our people to freely exercise their franchise and have their votes count.
“I also commend the political stakeholders for their peaceful and good conduct”.
He appreciated the people of the state, on behalf of the PDP, “for re-enacting your age-long support for the PDP, once again.
“I salute your loyalty and perseverance as you endured the scorching sun and queued up for hours to vote for us. This is yet another vote of confidence in our administration and party; and we will never forget this or take your loyalty for granted”.
The governor further noted that the political actors conducted themselves in a very decorous and peaceful manner across party lines right from the primary elections to the main elections, saying that it was “double celebration over our victory and a peaceful and credible exercise”.
Earlier in his brief remark, Archbishop Chukwuma commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the peaceful and successful conduct of the Local Government elections in the state, describing the exercise as “transparent and violence-free”.
The cleric tasked the newly-inaugurated chairmen to raise their performance bar in line with the people-oriented programmes of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration especially at the grassroots.