Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has sworn-in the newly elected 13 Local government Chairmen in the State with a charge to them to diligently serve the people and replicate his developmental strides at the grassroots.
The Governor during the event also inaugurated a newly-appointed Acting Accountant-General of the State, Emeka Nwankwo, and other newly-appointed Special Assistants to the Governor, explaining the reason for his constant appointment and removal of Accountants General in the State.
Recall that the Governor had about a month ago appointed Mojibade Ekuma as the Accountant General to replace Christiana Ukwuta.
This recent appointment has brought the number of Accountants General so far hired by Umahi within the span of his administration to four, a development that has continued to elicit concerns from some quarters.
Speaking at the event held at the Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki on Tuesday, Umahi said he has no regrets for the constant changes in that department of the Ministry of Finance.
According to him, the changes was necessitated by the need to properly position the Office of the Accountant-General for the challenges of modern financial system, which is ICT driven.
He added that the State targets $10 million free fund for its developmental projects, expressing optimism that the new appointee would make the job easier.
Umahi explained: “Today, I am making another Accountant General.
“I know that people will write me on Facebook, but I don’t care.
“Until I get the Ministry of Finance right, I will not care.
“And I am happy that the incoming one is a young man who is ICT compliant and an Accountant.
“So when they cajole me that I have had the fourth Accountant General, I don’t care because we must get it right.
“When we get it right, we stop.
“The point is that in this age, there are monies that the World Bank is giving and you have to do like this before you get the money.
“When we were fighting for the money, some of us overworked our system.
“But today, we got about $12 million free money.
“And I’m sure that with this new Accountant General, that is ICT compliant, we are targeting another $10 million.
“I need the money for my Airport….”
In an opening remark, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cletus Ofoke, described the Governor was a lover of democratic principles.
Ofoke noted that the successful conduct of the Council polls was a clear indication of the Umahi’s respect for constitutional democracy.
According to him, the elected Chairmen would serve for a tenure of two years in line with Section 3 of the Ebonyi State Local Government and Development Centre Law of 2019.
The Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission had on August 29 conducted Local Government and Ward Councillorship elections in the 13 Council areas and 171 Wards across the State, with the Peoples Democratic Party winning all the slots.
Among those elected and sworn in by the Governor were four first time Chairmen for Ivo, Ikwo, Afikpo North and Ezza South, with the other nine former Chairmen returned, including the former ALGON Chairman and Chairman of Ohaozara Local Government Area, Princess Nkechinyere Iyioku.
Iyioku in a vote of thanks appreciated the Governor and the people of the State for the confidence reposed in them.
She assured the Governor: “We promise that we will not let you down; we will follow your footsteps.”
Governor Umahi at the event also inaugurated members of the Universal Basic Education Board, Ebonyi State House of Assembly Service Commission, Local Government Advisory Committee, some Coordinators of Development Centres as well as members of Ebonyi State Agricultural Land Development Authority Board.