More people at the grassroots can now easily connect with Governor Darius Ishaku without the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks. In a swift move seen as both novel and creative, the appointees, especially the Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants have now been redeployed to the local governments to enhance revenue generation and monitor government developmental activities.
They are to maintain closer day to day contact with the people and report back on areas of immediate needs, even as they beef up revenue drive. Speaking on the development, Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, said it is one of the most effective use of government appointees.
Bello said criticisms trailed the appointment of many aides recently and the governor took a lot of flack for that. Many felt he shouldn’t have appointed so many aides especially at a time when governments are cutting cost. But what looked like a huge challenge before is now part of the real work of practical governance. A seemingly adversity has been turned into a vehicle of prosperity.
The governor is going to have greater contact with the grassroot with those appointees. As I write this now, the 168 wards have been re-energised with contact officers who would report on everything touching the lives of our citizens from the smallest to the biggest matters. At the expanded level, every local government has got a three man team of the appointees working hard to identify revenue generating ventures.
They would compliment the work of the local government and reinvigorate the activities geared towards more revenue sourcing. They would also supervise the entire operation to ensure the government is not short changed in any way in this bid. That is the first team.
Another three man team would be in charge of monitoring governments efforts at the grassroot to ensure that there nothing is left to chance. No more incidence of a hospital without beds for instance or a school without chairs, etc. These would be promptly dealt with as soon as they are identified in a rapid response style.
Describing it as a brilliant project, Bello said Governor Ishaku is a grass roots politician who puts the people first. He said for this Governor, what is paramount is always hearing directly from the people and meeting their needs. He is always meeting representatives of the people and the people themselves but now this bold move would take that to another level.
There are areas of needs that should be dealt with immediately. Government policies, as the Governor, always says, must have a human face to it. So yes, the revenue aspect of this development is fantastic but he is also looking forward to expanding his interactions with constituents, hearing from them and sorting out immediate needs on a daily basis. Now, he would also leverage on this for a first hand opportunity to assess how policies churned out in Jalingo are affecting say a pregnant woman in some remote outbacks or a farmer struggling with storage or fertilizer issue in a far flung border hamlet. Even before now, the Governor always insist on hearing directly from the people by relaxing the red tapism around that. This is why he is fond of spending entire weekends combing through villages to connect with the people.
Bello promised that the state media would continue to relay the activities of the teams at the wards levels, even as he informed that more town hall meeting at the local government level shall be a major feature of the new direction. He said perhaps for the first time, more people would have the platform to ask questions and find answers concerning government activities in a very direct and frank manner. This is key to the kind of open access government Governor Ishaku is pursuing.