Governor Kashim Shettima of Nigeria’s north eastern state of Borno on Friday directed caretaker committee chairmen of the 20 out of the 27 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state to begin operation in either reconstructed LGA secretariats or satellite secretariat in their respective headquarters.
Shettima gave the directives while inaugurating newly appointed caretaker committees for the 27 LGAs in the state in Maiduguri.
He named the LGAs to include Kaga, Jere, Damboa, Konduga, Monguno, Askira Uba, Chibok, Ngala, Kala-Balge, Mafa, Nganzai, Dikwa, Gubio, Magumeri, Biu, Shani, Bayo, Hawul, Kwaya Kusar and the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council. All the councils were liberated recently from the clutches of Boko Haram terrorists by Nigeria’s military.
Shettima added that four other caretaker committee chairmen were to operate two secretariats each, one in their headquarters and the other near Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps to cater for the large number of their Displaced Persons.
He named the affected LGAs to include Bama, Kukawa, Gwoza and Marte.
Shettima said that the remaining three caretaker committee chairmen were to operate ‘satellite secretariats’ within IDP camps in Maiduguri due to the ongoing anti terrorism military operation in their areas.
He named the affected LGAs to include Abadam, Mobbar and Guzamala.
Shettima said that the action was aimed at laying foundation for return of civil authority in LGAs in the state as a Post insurgency response.
“Caretaker committee chairmen of the 20 LGAs should immediately work with the Deputy Governor, the Commissioner of Local Government and Emirate Affairs, the Commissioner for Reconstruction and security establishments to start operating either from their reconstructed LGA secretariats.
“The LGA Secretariats, whether permanent or satellite locations, must be fully functional with the chairmen and council officials operating and readily available and accessible to the people they are appointed to serve,” he said.
Shettima added: The LGAs caretaker committees chairmen for Bama, Kukawa, Gwoza and Marte.are to operate two satellite secretariats with each secretariat having senior and important local government officials stationed there.
“The chairmen must rotate their presence in between the two secretariats.”
Shettima explained that gone are the days when chairmen of local government areas sit in Maiduguri to operate from their rented homes noting that now that citizens live in most of the local government areas as a result of military success, there has to be a new system in place.
“I suppose some people maybe wondering why I have issued directive for Bama, Gwoza, Kukawa and Marte to operate two satellite secretariats instead of just asking them to operate in their headquarters alone.
“The reason they have to open secretariat in Maiduguri is because this time around, we are putting chairmen and officials of local government areas as supervisors of the Education, Healthcare and general welfare of their citizens especially those at IDP camps,” he said.
Shettima added:“We will not have good reasons to hold chairmen accountable if we send them to their LGA headquarters only whereas they have majority of their citizens in Maiduguri.
“I will hold chairmen responsible if I hear any complaints whether of shortage or lack of food, water, access to primary healthcare or absence of teachers at any IDP camp unless it is evident that chairmen made frantic efforts to bring such cases to the notice of appropriate authorities and in which case, the right persons will be held accountable. ”
“Chairmen must therefore come up with roasters that would ensure deployments of their officials to all IDP camps on rotational basis and whoever’s turn it is, must be stationed at the camp.
“I expect to see officials of local government areas spending the night at IDP camps if for nothing else, to supervise the welfare of their people and to help them in their healing process and to give confidence to them. It is a must that at all times, there must be at least one or two officials of local government at every camp which has citizens of respective local government areas.”(