Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers has charged the 23 newly elected council chairmen to prudently utilize council funds to pay workers’ salaries and fight insecurity in their areas.
Wike gave the charge on Monday in Port Harcourt while swearing in the chairmen who emerged victorious in the council poll conducted on Saturday.
He warned them to avoid non-payment of salaries or payment of half salaries to council workers and to use their positions to make a difference in the administration of local government councils for others to emulate.
He further urged them to use their good offices to proffer solutions to challenges that had caused delay in the development of local government areas.
He also advised them to prioritize projects that would benefit the masses and avoid wastage of funds.
Wike underscored the need to the chairmen to be close to the people in order to be abreast of the challenges confronting them.
He said: “You should always be at home; do not stay far from the people; do not stay in Port Harcourt; do not distance yourselves from the people; stay in your councils to know the problems of your people.”
He also urged the chairmen to work with their councillors and security agencies to ensure absolute peace in their domains.
He advised them not to give appointments that they could not pay for, adding that such appointments could create crisis in the councils.
The governor also urged them to desist from using their positions to create crisis or confusion in the party and to always seek permission before embarking on long journeys outside the state.
He lauded both the Rivers State independent Electoral Commission and the security agencies for conducting free, fair and credible council elections in the State.
Wike specially commended the security agencies for carrying out their jobs professionally, which he noted, averted breakdown of law and order during the council elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Peoples Democratic Party clinched all the 23 chairmanship seats in the council elections.