The Oshimili South Council boss, Hon. Barr. Chuks Obusom has said that public service is a trust and as such anybody occupying a public office must ensure the mandate entrusted in the office is kept sacred.
He made this assertion while briefing journalists in Asaba on his stewardship account after holding office as Chairman in the last three years.
According to Obusom, a trustee is only a caretaker, he must be accountable to owners of the trust. “My chairmanship was a divine mandate, I never wanted such but it was a call I had to obey”, he said.
The sound servant of God maintained that the Local Government has a responsibility to identify its citizens as a core Constitutional mandate. He stated that his attention from inception was beamed on the citizens of Oshimili South, and as such he was dismayed at the rate of non indigenes occupation of a reasonable percentage of the populace of the council area. He stressed that this revelation prompted him to commence a reform and was able to put a stop to the incessant loss of jobs and other welfare packages to non indigenes, mostly to people from across the Niger.
“I personally sign letters of identification. We have stopped unnecessary and incessant dumping of the dead on our environment too”, he affirmed.
The chairman said on coming on board, they had to do a thorough feasibility study and discovered that the best way to go is agriculture in order to survive as a council. He said the government then encouraged agriculture in the communities, especially in Oko. He said going by the bad nature of Oko road and having no money to tar roads, they had to open up the roads for easy accessibility and for market connections.
Obusom equally confirmed that his administration vigorously tackled the menace of street trading and hawking by minors. “We also moved a nursery and primary school from a noisy Ogbeogonogo environment to a health facility abandoned by Federal Government in Asaba”.
He stated that as a government while coming to power, they could see avenues for revenues but there was no account of these revenues with the council. He said he consulted and discovered that the only way to go in securing the council’s revenue was to build a Revenue House within the Council Secretariat.
Still on revenue, the Chairman maintained that being eager to getting it right with the IGR of the council, a bye-law to regulate such had to be in place. And with this, he sent a bill to the Legislative Arm to fashion out revenue demand, revenue prosecution and revenue process of payment which he said was codified through legislation; and so making it possible to build a twin revenue court house in the Council.
He said when he came on board the Council had no light for three years, he had to fix it and acquire a Transformer to power electricity there in.
“We equally set up Agriculture Fund to empower farmers and we also built a poultry farm for layers and browlers. We are in the process of building a modern motor park which is already opened by Ogbeogonogo market. We are in partnership with Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency to expand Ogbeogonogo and of course the Ogbeolie market. This expansion will help us save traffic around Ogbeogonogo”, he said.
On security, the council boss narrated how his team burst illegal sex den in Asaba through intelligence report. He said they were able to rescue minors who were engaged in sex work and put them through counselling and reformation. He said another criminal den was brought down at Abraka market. He added that Asaba is relatively peaceful and no cause for alarm with the governance of the council.
He also spoke on efforts made to clean up Asaba, but maintained that cleaning Asaba must be a collective responsibility. He said the PSP arrangements was never effective as the council got 55 PSP operators from SEEFOR but during screening was only able to pick 17 because they didn’t have facility.
On assumption of office there was no cemetery anywhere in Asaba and passionate about it as a project, we reached out for land but couldn’t meet the demands of communities. He said he was aware that provisions for a cemetery was factored into Asaba Master plan, but for obvious reasons the land had been allocated by Government for other ventures.
The Chairman further posited that the major challenge of the Local Government administration at present borders on allocation which has continued to dwindle. He said the recession affected payment of salaries, adding that his council is presently owing seven months salaries. He said another is the challenge of communities not understanding their objective, which most times lead to conflict of interest.