By Shedrack Frank
Bayelsa Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo urged local council councillors to work closely with their chairmen to deliver effective services to the people.
The deputy Governor gave the advice on Monday in Yenagoa at a meeting he had with the chairmen and leaders of the legislative assemblies of the eight local councils in the state.
Ewhrudjakpo frowned at the incessant threats of impeachment which councillors issue against council chairmen, stressing that taking such actions without following the due process would only heat up the polity, needlessly.
He urged the councillors, particularly their leaders, to use all avenues of dialogue and avoid confrontation as much as possible in their dealings with the other arms of government.
“We should not use violence as the last resort, we must at every point in time be reasonable and respectful. You are supposed to be cooperating with your chairmen because you are not co-equal.
“The idea of threatening your chairmen with impeachment at every turn of events is not the right way to go.
“You must have used every means of dialogue with your leaders and stakeholders of the various local government areas. If you as councillors have issues with any of the chairmen bring it to my notice,” he said.
Ewhrudjakpo advised the chairmen and councillors to shun selfishness and put the interest of their councils and the state ahead of personal considerations as they would all give account of their stewardship.
“At every point in time, if you don’t overcome selfishness you will become unnecessarily agitated. So I want to appeal to you that as leaders the council rest on your shoulders,’’ he said.
He also emphasised the need for both groups to cooperate with the state government by being reasonable in their demands.
The deputy governor urged the chairmen to be transparent in the running of their councils to avoid unnecessary suspicion and speculations.
He appealed for patience and understanding in the area of the welfare of the councillors and assured them that they would get their entitlements within the available resources.
He directed the chairmen to provide office accommodation for their councillors to enhance their performance.
In a related development, Ewhrudjakpo called for synergy between local government chairmen and Governor’s Special Representatives in the eight local government areas to enable rural dwellers to feel the impact of the government.
The deputy governor, who stated this at a separate meeting with the chairmen and the special representatives called for cooperation among the two groups.
He urged the governor’s representatives to avoid rivalry with the council chairmen.