Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday inaugurated the newly elected 17 Local Government Area (LGA) chairmen and their deputies with a charge to prioritise economic development in their various areas.
Speaking during the event in Umuahia, Ikpeazu said the task ahead of the newly elected council leaders would be challenging, adding that there would be high expectations from the people.
The governor urged the chairmen to set up economic teams that would advise them on the best way to drive economic advancement in their various local government councils.
According to him, the responsibility of developing the different local government areas rests squarely on the shoulders of the chairmen and their deputies.
He emphasised the need for the chairmen to change the narrative and bring about the improved development in rural communities.
Ikpeazu said: “The imperatives of development in the leadership of your various local government areas has changed overtime and therefore, what you require is strategic thinking in your various areas.
“As you think about what to do to create a better life for your people, I will advise you to first start from today. I want to remind you that you have 24 months to make your mark.
“You must ensure that every space in your various local government areas comes under your security purview and surveillance so that your report about security activities will be apt and truthful.
“This will help the government in making sure Abia remains one of the safest places in Nigeria today, and I am convinced that you are qualified to acquit yourselves creditably in your new office,” the governor said.
He urged the chairmen to leverage on the natural resources available in their councils as well as facilitate the functionality of projects built by the state government in the LGAs.
Speaking on behalf of other elected chairmen, chairman of Obingwa LGA, Mr Ibe Nwoke, described their victory during the election as a ‘privilege to serve’.
Nwoke promised that they would utilise the emergence of new leaders in the LGAs for improved grassroot development.
The event was attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu and the senator representing Abia Central, Sen. Theodore Orji among other dignitaries.