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I conducted LG election to deepen grassroots democracy –Ikpeazu

From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has said his decision to conduct local government election in the state despite the economic downturn was to deepen democracy at the grassroots.

He revealed that the  recent verification of staff of the local government system was not to send any one to the labour market, but to raise a virile workforce with requisite qualifications.

Ikpeazu assured local government authorities  that his government would review some of the issues raised in the exercise in view of the plea by Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and tampers justice with mercy.

Warning that he will not condone ghost workers in the system, the governor called on local government staff to assist him by keeping him informed.

The governor stated this when members of NULGE, Abia State chapter conferred on him the award of Distinguished and Performing Friend of NULGE for his favourable disposition to local government employees in the state.

The  solidarity rally and award ceremony organised in his honour was held at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia.

 Ikpeazu appreciated the union for the honour and described the award as the biggest  that he had received, adding that he was aware that NULGE was not given to unnecessary praise singing, but came up with the award after due consideration.

Earlier,  the NULGE president, Ibrahim Khaleel extolled the governor for the harmonious working relationship with workers in the state as well as his open door policy.

He commended the governor for his courage in organising local government election saying that he is the second governor in the federation to do so.

“This singular act of yours shows indeed that you recognise the local government as the third tier and that you are a partner and supporter in the development agenda of the state.”

In his welcome address, the state chairman of NULGE, Ijioma Onyenucheya commended the governor for fulfilling his promise of democratising the local government system through the conduct of elections.

He thanked the governor  for sustaining the payment of minimum wage to workers and making genuine effort to clear the backlog of salary arrears despite the economic crunch as well as giving approval for the 2016 promotions among other gestures.

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