With the newly constituted council executives and legislative arms formally inaugurated recently and have commenced works in their various local government councils, Ika Weekly Newspaper reporter recently went round Boji-Boji Metropolis to seek the views of Ika residents about what they expect from the new local government council executive.
Though most of the people refused to air their opinions or expectations, saying that no matter what they will say or advise the elected chairmen and their councilors they will not abide by it. However, the reporter was able to get the views of some respondents. In a chat with Ika Weekly Newspaper reporter.
Mr. Itoje Kingsley, a public servant, said “Well, we are looking up to them, they are our new leaders, we are looking forward to see them bringing the dividend of democracy to our door steps, brining things that will harness our living in our community. We want a situation whereby our interest will be fully represented at the local level; bring politics closer to our door step, when this is done and with our able governor senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who has made our state and has been working effortlessly to see that the government of the day is working I think we should give kudos to him for such efforts and I know with him at the top, others should copy and bring dividend of democracy to our door step.
I will also advise members of Ika Nation to abide to the laws governing the state because in a society where there is no law you will see a lot of crimes happening, I really want a situation where we will live in a place where there is peace, where there is no issue like cultism, killings, kidnapping that we are hearing every day. Hence, I want to use this medium to enjoin our people to give democracy a chance for us to actually enjoy the dividend of our democracy.”
Mr. Kelvin Duru, a businessman “We thank God for the successful election that was recently conducted for the local government council chairmen and councillors, and I thank God that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won the election, because they have been trying and I also thank God for the successful swearing in of the new council chairmen and their councillors, let us watch and see how they are going to pilot the affairs of the local government councils; however, personally, I will advise them to do better because in this country we have seen that people are suffering mostly the masses of the country, even the businessmen are suffering, the leaders are not encouraging the people through their actions and policies; things are very expensive, goods are at the highest rates, you can’t do anything except you have enough money, hence we urge them to do everything possible to assist the masses.
Currently the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is now in power in Delta State, they should be there for the people of this state and lead to better the lives of the masses.
Take for example most of the people trading at the college junction Agbor, do not have shops, yet most of the previous government in the local government area have visited the place, promising to build lock up stores for the traders within the college junction areas but to no avail; yet they keep demolishing every structures on ground, raising the hope of the traders that they will construct befitting stores for them; we are begging the new local government council chairman and his councillors to please come to our aid and build lock up shops, along the college junction, so that we can be able to have a permanent place to stay.”
Mr. Collins Egbon, a public servant “ The advice I have for the newly elected council chairmen and their councillors in the two local government areas of Ika Nation, is that they should try their best in making the masses within their localities to feel the impact of good governance, again, I will like them to focus on the construction of roads and to help make the electricity supply stable; for some time now we have been enjoying electricity from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), and we will be most grateful if the authority can help sustain the trend.
I will also want the Ika South local government council chairman to try as much as possible to do something concerning Alihame/Sakpoba road that is in a deplorable condition even if it is grading the road, so that it will be motorable for motorists and other road users plying the road. For the chairmen to get the support of the people, they should also work and carry the people along in their developmental strides. I also encourage the councillors to work collectively with their chairmen, so that the council areas will witness rapid transformation.”
Mr. Ifeanyi James, a businessman, “It is most appalling that rather than the masses to enjoy and benefit from the various tiers of government, the citizenry are been subjected to severe pains and sufferings. Imagine the situation where people are not even aware, about government actions and policies, only for one to wake up and see various house committees, being set up without consulting the people, it doesn’t work in that manner, there is always a forum where people can air their views and say Okay, this is what we want make room for memorandum where people can send in their opinions on some particular issues, it is not something for one’s party members alone. You are making a task force on revenue, particularly revenue from the market without involving the traders and market executive in your discussions, how do you know their feelings. Most of the refuse dumped at the market, who clears them? Most of these revenues they are made to pay, where does it go to? Does it go directly to the council or to individual hands? Make a law of which these market men and women whom the laws are targeted to should make an input.
So, I pray that this new government under the leadership of Hon (Barr.) Victor Ebonka and Hon (Barr.) Victor Okoh, should be able to change the entire process. However, leaders have emerged, representatives have emerged but they should be able to reconcile with the people, identify with the people make sure you find a way through forums, seminars, conferences and identify yourselves within your communities; ask them their peculiar problems, Okada riders, how do we now make it a more refined Okada business? So that touts will not hijack it, there should be law; in other states they have a means of identifications. We want things to change, those who know the laws are now in the hem of affairs, they should review most of these operational laws as it affects the people and let the people know their input in government, it is not only money.
Mr. Peter Eseka, popularly known as Onyin Max Barbing Plaza, “It is true that when the elected council officers are politicking to seek for votes to occupy positions, they make everybody their friend and as soon as they are elected and resume office, the next thing we see is them trying to afflict us, but I pray that these ones that entered recently will not be the type that will afflict us, we pray that they will understand our pains and see how they will help us out, because one good turn always deserves another.” If the council leads us effectively in this first tenure as chairmen and councillors, they will be voted in by the masses for a second tenure. Though people usually say that the votes of the masses don’t count during elections personally, I believe that when the masses turn up en masse and say that their vote will count then their votes certainly will. The problem is just because people are reluctant when it comes to casting their votes.
In the area of revenue, the council should please be considerate with the masses. Not that we will not pay our taxes, we will pay our taxes. But whenever we pay our taxes, the government should also give us our entitlement, because in every government people who pays their dues and their taxes ought to benefit from the government. I also want to plead with them not to increase the amount of levies and taxes that we have been paying to the councils; rather they should maintain the status quo or see how they can reduce the tariffs. It is by so doing that we will know that they are working.
BY EMMANUEL EGBUCHINEM