Governor Nasir El-Rufai has charged the newly elected local government chairmen to prioritize service delivery to the people at the grassroots and look beyond partisanship in the discharge of their mandates.
He congratulated them on their emergence from the 2021 local government elections which the state conducted using electronic voting, for the second time after its introduction in 2018.
El Rufai also reminded them that God who entrusts power to whom He chooses, has chosen them to be the leaders of all citizens in their local government areas without regard to their political, ethnic or religious persuasions.
The governor reiterated that the chairmen are now custodians of a sacred trust so they must be fair, just and reasonable in all their dealings, decisions and interactions.
He warned them not to discriminate against those that did not vote for them, neither should they favour those with whom they share the same ethnicity or religion as that will offend their oath of office.
The governor who gave these counsel while swearing in 16 chairmen who were elected on the platform of APC and five who were voted under the PDP ticket, noted that elections could not be conducted in Birnin-Gwari due to security concerns while the outcome in Jaba is subject of litigation.
El Rufai recalled that his administration has taken careful steps to reform the local government system for performance by addressing ‘’ the capacity deficit by directing the recruitment of professionals, including lawyers, engineers and architects for the local government service.’’
‘’ Clear establishments have been prescribed and implemented for each LGA to ensure that they have just the optimal number of personnel,’’ he further said, adding that he ‘’ inherited a local government system that was doing little more than paying its own employees.’’
‘’At least eight of these local governments could not even pay their staff salaries without assistance from the state government. These troubled local governments had been sustained by a perverse and unfair system that took money from solvent local governments to pay the staff.
‘’Rather than inquire into the causes of the financial difficulties of the affected LGs, and taking remedial steps to address them, the previous government chose to penalise those without financial problems,’’ he recalled.
El-Rufai said that many of the local governments were overstaffed and lacked the right quality of personnel to enable them deliver decent services at the local level.
‘’With the kind support of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, we have enacted a new local government administration law. The law places governance at the local level on the presidential system model. While executive powers shall vest in the chairmen, the elected councillors shall constitute the legislative arm,’’ he added.
The governor also pointed out Kaduna State House of Assembly has passed the Traditional Institutions Law, which is a key part of his administration’s legislative agenda for 2021.
According to him, the new law establishes clarity on succession processes in the various chiefdoms and emirates which removes caprice in creating new chiefdoms or emirates.