The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has advised Local Government Councillors not to allow themselves to be used by anyone as agents of confusion and chaos at the Local Government Areas but that they should be agents of unity, harmony and progress so that their positive impact on the welfare of the people and development of their respective areas would be felt and appreciated by all.
The Speaker stated this yesterday while receiving in audience a delegation of the Association of Council of Leaders of Nigeria, ACLON, Abia State Chapter, at his residence in Umuahia.
Hon Prince Oguejiofor Okoli, Chairman of the Council in his opening address thanked the Speaker for his support and the huge part he played before, during and even after the peaceful conduct of the last LG elections that culminated in their victories at their respective Wards.
They also lauded the Speaker for the smooth and cordial relationship existing between him and the Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and urged them “to sustain the cordiality as every democratic setting needs such cordial relationship for their progress and prosperity”.
Continuing, Okoli said, “we are greatly but quietly learning lessons of political cordiality as a prerequisite for the growth and development of any society from you, and we are indeed happy with the results such supportive, cooperative and collaborative relationship is producing in our dear State”, he said.
While presenting a series of challenges militating against the successful execution of their mandate at their respective Wards and LGs, Okoli said they as Leaders of the Legislative Arm of the Councils have been able to ward off pressures mounted on them by some people to instigate crisis in the LGs and called on the Speaker to assist them in ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in all the LGAs.
Responding, the Speaker said he was highly impressed with the high level of comportment exhibited by the Council leaders so far and appreciated them for their decision to embark on consultations and use dialogue to approach their issues.
“The most important thing in politics is the relationship you have with your people; you people are the eyes of Government in your different localities, you are the direct link from the state to the grassroots” the Speaker reminded them.
He advised them to “be transparent to your colleagues in all your dealings and work in unison with your different Local Government Chairmen to achieve great and positive results for the people you represent.
“Regard your position today as a stepping stone to achieving greater political heights and exploits; embark on people oriented projects in your areas, but only those within your means, so your people will have something positive to remember you for even long after you might have left office.
“Shun every form of violence and don’t allow yourselves to be used by mischievous people who in their desperation can go any length to see that you don’t succeed”, the Speaker said.
The Number One Lawmaker in the State also promised them that their senior colleagues at the Abia State House of Assembly will make sure that their plights and issues raised are considered and treated through appropriate legislative means once the House reconvenes from its current recess.
He thanked them for the visit and requested them to come to the House of Assembly as regularly as possible to observe plenary sessions so they can further learn from their senior colleagues at the State Assembly.
“You also learn by observing. So it will do you a great deal of good if you come to the Assembly and observe plenary sessions so that you sharpen your skills as lawmakers at the local government level”, he advised.
Hon Dennis Okorie I. Okorie, leader of Umuahia South Legislative Council in his vote of thanks said they were blessed to be elected councillors in the same dispensation as the Speaker and Members of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly, describing the Speaker as one who has done tremendously well in the area of massive infrastructural facelift of the Abia State House of Assembly complex, noting that many people-oriented laws have been passed by the state legislative arm and promised that the council leaders will adhere to his advice because “following the footsteps of the Speaker in the discharge of our legislative duties will certainly propel us to greatness”.
Hon Stanley Nwabuisi, Member representing Ikwuano State Constituency joined the Speaker to receive the council leaders.
The Association of Council Leaders of Nigeria is a body of Leaders of each legislative council at the local government level.
All the members drawn from the 17 local government areas of Abia State were in attendance as follows:
Hon Prince Oguejiofor Okoli – Leader, Umunneochi LGA and Chairman
ACLON Abia State Chapter
Hon Richard Sunday – Leader, Isiala Ngwa South LGA and
Deputy Chairman, ACLON Abia State Chapter
Hon Jacob Umere – Leader, Obingwa LGA and
Secretary, ACLON Abia State Chapter
Hon Peter Obinna Iroegbu – Leader, Umuahia North LGA and
Treasurer, ACLON Abia State Chapter
Hon Chief Ndukwe Oju – Leader, Ohafia LGA and
Public Relations Officer, ACLON Abia State Chapter
Hon Chidiebere Nwogu – Leader, Ukwa West LGA and
Financial Secretary ACLON, Abia State Chapter
Hon Chief Dennis Okorie – Leader, Umuahia South LGA
Hon Onuoha Okechukwu – Leader, Isuikwuato LGA
Hon Chinedu Onwutuebe
Leader, Aba South LGA
Hon Mrs Beatrice Mejuru – Leader, Ukwa East LGA
Hon Iheanacho Udensi – Leader, Bende LGA
Hon Ndudirim Mgbarine – Leader, Ugwunagbo LGA
Hon Obinna Agodi – Leader, Ikwuano LGA
Hon Azuka Precious – Leader, Aba North LGA
Hon Chimaobi Alozu – Leader, Isiala Ngwa North LGA
Hon Wisdom N. Chinyere – Leader, Osisioma LGA
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Hon Austin Emeka Bonny – Leader, Arochukwu LGA