Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Opinion: Political Evolution Of Dekina LGA Under Its Elected Chairmen Since 1976


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Local government administration ‎world over is insulated from aberration when it is fully functional in a civilian dispensation, but not under emergencies of either military intervention like we had during the dark days in Nigeria, and or under an autocratic environment like it is applicable in Kogi today, were running into three years of the present civilian administration, council administration remained a mirage for obvious reasons of undemocratic norms.

But, alas, to separate the wheat from the chaff‎, history will not be complete for a local government created since 1976, with glowing tributes and acknowledgement to some of the former council bosses, though, military apologist had distinguished themselves through people oriented performances while saddled with the leadership of the council.

1  Chief Urah Ajibili‎ – 80’s
‎2  Simeon Okai Maha – 90’s
3  Raphael Omojo Ihiabe

All these council chairmen reigned during the military interregnum with ‎civilian governors and military leaders at the federal level .In a full fledged democratic environment, better assessment and best practices will be achieved with the three tiers of government running from civilian Presidents, governors and council bosses which was realizable in 1999. Even at that, their contributions to the growth of the council cannot be overemphasized.

At the return of full ‎democratic practice, the state governors under the guise of paucity of funds delayed local council administration elections  to soothe their whims and caprices by engaging more hands with different acronym as caretaker Chairmen, Administrators, and Liaison officers as it is obtainable in the present day Kogi state, except on exceptional cases in the life of former governor Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada, were the practice came to fruition that led to the election of three successive chairmen for Dekina local government, namely as follows;

1. Adejoh Akowe
2. Ikani Benjamin Okolo
3‎. Mohammed Ali

‎The potentials of Dekina local government came on full glare in the course of some of these duos administering the area, but with varying achievements based on the policies and programs of various council bosses in the area of human capital development, political, social, infrastructural and other highly prioritized safety nets that translated to the overall advancement of the largest council area in Nigeria.

It’s all started during the full glare civilian era of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris ‎were Dekina local government area witnessed series of developmental projects in the area of rural development, health, education, infrastructural development, provision of water and electricity including regular payment of workers salaries and allowances along with robust policies of engagements and disengagements at the local government levels.
This developmental programs was attained owing to the progressive tendencies initiated and  re-invigorated by the most popular and generally acceptable  council chairman of the council, in the person of Honourable Benjamin Ikani Okolo between 2007-2010.

The era could best be described as the period of developmental explosion in all facets of administration of the local government  basically because of the good programs initiated within the three years reign of the youngest council chairman at that time.

It was during his tenure the evolution ‎that brought a stable employment opportunities of the youths, building, grading and rehabilitation of roads, hospitals, clinics, construction of town halls, pipe borne water and boreholes, empowerment, skill  acquisition centres as well provision of electricity in various communities comprising of the local government.

The government within the period under review with the doctrine of accountability and transparency even chew more than it could eat as after the expiration of his tenure many projects in various communities were on going and abandoned by the successive administration as evidenced in various communities consisting of the local government.

A good move was the light, water and clinics scattered around some communities, which the former council chairman and now federal law maker in the spirit of continuity have included and completed  in his constituency projects and implemented for the betterment of the immediate communities.
The rural based policy thrust of the political emancipation of the local government can best be summed up, as it was propagated and also ended with the people oriented administration of Dekina local government powered by the former chairman, Benjamin Ikani Okolo (BIO).

It may interest the people of the area to know, that it was during his tenure that new local government chairman’s office was constructed and the old gigantic and uniform edifice constructed soon ‎after the creation of the local council in 1976, witnessed for the first time, mass renovation, furnishing and restructuring of the entire edifice yearning for renovation over the years to meet with the current conducive working environment, motivation and challenges.

All this trend was attracted and occasioned basically by the anticipatory and nearsightedness of the focused and development oriented ‎ideas of the administration of the former council boss, BIO, and the current law maker representing Dekina/Bassa at the green chamber.

The whole situation however became regrettable when the perceived and initiated laudable projects lacked continuity as a result of the infiltration of politics of aggrandisement, self centeredness and direction less in subsequent administration.
His regrets officially and privately had expressed so much worries on the backward trend, lack of continuity embraced by subsequent leadership that had deteriorated to a low and critical ebb, were workers have been massively retrenched, those in service are not regularly paid their entitlements and salaries, youth employment, empowerment had been hijacked by obvious lack of political will and poor leadership as well as glaring maladministration of the well thought out and carefully achieved policies and programs of his previous administration.
Because of these e backward trend, prevalent in Dekina local government and applicable to other area councils in the state occasioned his firm believe/ support to the local government autonomy bill recently assented  by the National Assembly to remove the heavy financial burden and granting all round autonomy to the local government, so as to return the lost glory of highly affected Dekina local government.

His firm believe in all hope no lost for local government administration remained unshakeable and fathomnable ‎as government policies and enabling environment will reverse the trend from the present doldrums of poverty, denials, political emasculation and uncertainties that has engulf our land.
It is in the public domain, that what is obtainable in the local government today is nothing to write home about rather than “Kill and Divide”‎and lack of autonomy to councils through financial short change and denials to the detriment of the communities.

– Adehi Abdulkareem

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