By Kolade larewaju
ABEOKUTA—LOCAL government’s chairmen in Ogun State have handed over to the most senior career civil servants in their respective councils following the expiration of their tenure.
The handing over ceremony took place at the Conference Room of the Governor’s office.
Speaking on behalf of the new local government helmsmen, who are also the Head of Local Government Administration, HOLGA, Mr. Keji Ogunbona of Obafemi Owode Local Government, described the transition as smooth since the career civil servants had worked closely with the former local government chairmen.
He assured the governor that they would ensure smooth running of the council for the benefit of the people.
Mr.Ogunbona thanked the governor for various innovations which he said had made the third tier of government in Ogun State the best in the country and for the confidence reposed in them.
Also speaking, Mr. John Obafemi, former chairman of the Remo North Local Government who also functioned as Chairman of ALGON in the state, described their experience as worthwhile having been given the opportunity to serve.
Mr. Obafemi reiterated that throughout their three years tenure, there was no incident of illegal deduction of local government fund directly or indirectly, adding that Governor Daniel had repositioned the state which also affected the council areas positively.
He also thanked the Governor for giving the council chairmen a free hand to run their government expressing the hope that the new helmsmen would build on the gains of the past three years.
Gbenga lauds ex- council chairmen
Governor Olugbenga Daniel, while speaking at the ceremony, congratulated the 18 elected council chairmen and the two appointed caretaker chairmen for a successful tenure. The Governor said that given the limited resources at their disposal the chairmen gave a good account of themselves and performed better than their peers in other states of the federation.
He also commended the leadership of the legislative houses of the council for maintaining stability.
by not carrying out impeachments despite temptations from various quarters.
He said the elected officials had contributed their own quota to the development of democracy.
The Governor said given their level of education and experience the head of local government administration who are all career civil servants would perform creditably well. He urged them to focus on payment of salaries and arrears of emoluments.
He urged those heading the urban local governments of Sagamu, Obafemi Owode, ADO Odo Ota, Ijebu Ode, Abeokuta North and South to concentrate on the prompt removal of refuse to maintain a clean environment.
He said the new arrangement was informed by the reform going on at the Federal level where a new voters register would soon be compiled. He said the State Independent Electoral Commission had given indication that it would be difficult to conduct election into the council areas without a fresh register of voters which can only come into being in after the registration exercise in January 2010.
Alhaja Salmat Badru, deputy Governor, Are Tunde Alabi, Commissioner for Local Government, Chief Kola Olumide, Chairman Local Government Service Commission, all the former local government chairmen, all the leaders of the legislative houses of the local government, the head of local government administration who took over from them and other senior administration officials were present at the ceremony. The HOLGA would be in charge of the council until the constitution of Caretaker committees.