The eighteen newly elected local government area chairmen and their deputies in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria, have taken an oath denouncing cultism.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State administered the oath of denunciation on the elected council officials before they were sworn into office.
Ayade charged the chairmen, who won the elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to ensure the prompt payment of salaries and pensions as well as deliver on their campaign promises.
He disclosed that the chairmen have N11.386 billion takeoff funds to perform creditably.
“We are happy to announce to you that you are coming into office while the governor leaves behind N11.386 billion in your coffers. Today, marks a great opportunity for the people at the grassroots, who have never had direct access to government at the centre, to feel the impact of governance” the Governor said.
Ayade appealed to the chairmen to avoid what he described as grandiose projects rather on simple ventures that would directly impact the lives of the people.
“You are serving the grassroots, I do not want you therefore to embark on big projects. I need you to deal with those projects that directly impact on the lives of the people. I need you to deal with boreholes, I need you to deal with culverts, minor bridges that link communities” the Governor stressed.
The Governor further advised the chairmen to work closely with their Councillors for effective service delivery to their constituents.
Ayade stated, “I urge you to work in harmony with your Councillors. There must not be a divided house. Therefore, work harmoniously with the Councillors so that together you will serve the people effectively”.
Certificates of Return
Meanwhile, The Cross River Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, earlier presented certificate of return to eighteen local government chairmen and Councillors elect of the 196 wards.
Dr. Mike Ushie, CROSIEC chairman, made the presentation at the commissions office with a charge to the elected officials to support the industrialization drive of Governor Ben Ayade.
Dr. Ushie urged the Councilors to begin to see themselves as people with new responsibilities. He advised them not to see themselves as ordinary citizens, but as leaders, who have just joined the league.
You are no longer going to live for yourselves, but for the people of your council and ward. It is on the basis of this that you must strive to work in tandem with the hope and aspirations of the state governor so as to lift the state to enviable height, the chairman said.
He also advised the local government chairmen and Councillors to serve the people irrespective of political party affiliations, stressing that since they have been elected on a platform to serve the entire people, they owe allegiance to the people and not a political party. So, he urged them to carry everybody along in governance.
Responding on behalf of the elected chairmen, Kingsley Egumi of Ikom Local Government Area, pledged that the chairmen would deliver on their campaign promises.
5 people out of the 18 chairmen are females representing Calabar South, Biase, Obanliku, Obudu and Odukpani local government areas.