Rep. Ahmed Wase, Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, has called for strengthening of local government councils in Nigeria towards addressing security challenges in the country.
Wase said this at the opening of a leadership training by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) for elected local government councils officials from Delta in Abuja on Thursday.
“My dream for the country is to have a very sound, vibrant working local government system; when you have that one in Nigeria, I want to say all the security challenges we are having in this country will be solved.
“I come from one of the remotest part of this country; I know how local government administration was then in the past, not the one we are having today and I believe collectively all of us we can make it work again, we can change the narration, we can make it better.
“My prayer is that before the end of this administration, we should deliver on our constitutional amendment; to provide a workable local government system that will be truly third tier of government.
“Not the third tier that when you do federation account allocation some few persons will go and sit somewhere in small room do all the cuttings and send out peanuts.
“Meanwhile, the bulk of the problems, being infrastructure, insecurity is there at the grassroots,” he said.
Earlier, Elumelu said that the training was to ensure democratic dividends for the people who elected him into the green chambers.
“The people that voted us into office or voted them have done so by way of investment and the vote is their investment in them.
“The return on investment is the dividends of democracy that they will be providing to the people that voted for them.
“And that is their return and they cannot make that return possible if they are not well informed.
“My dream is to ensure that at the end of this exercise they will be well groomed, well informed and they will be empathic and also see themselves as peoples representatives that will go back and showcase all that they have learnt here and put them into good use,” he said.
Prof Epiphany Azeinge, a Guest Speaker at the event, urged the council officials to see their victory as a call to service to the people and an opportunity to demonstrate leadership.
He advised them to master their constitutional mandates, extant laws and regulations to enable them function effectively.
“As the third tier of government you are critical stakeholders in our federal system of government. Be informed that leadership comes with responsibility.
“Therefore, you must show responsibility no ramifications of your duties and obligations; you do that by showing and demonstrating leadership to your staff and your people by being accountable in all you do, by being selfless and altruistic by observing due process and the rule of law by avoiding the culture of impunity.
“Do that by identifying priorities and pursuing them to logical conclusions; learn to be frugal and prudent in management of public funds, always realise that public fund is a public trust.
“Teamwork and team spirit cannot be over emphasised at the cause of your duties, be role models, influencers, enablers and a sources of inspiration to your people.
“Let me say this that good leaders are students of History, learn from mistakes of others and build upon their successes; define and pursue your legacy. Do not be a mere footnote in history write your story for generations to come,” he said.(NAN)