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Rilwan Emeje

Who say Dekina Local Government Council is not the luckiest local government in Kogi state, if not in the entire country, in this political era.  While there are wide-spread out-cry that local government managers are performing below expectation in the country, the people of Dekina are jubilating as they reap dividends of democracy from a selfless leader.  Recently, Kogi State House of Assembly declared Hon. Benjamin Okolo as the best performing chairman in the state.  The Igala people of Kogi State are happy with developments at Anyigba, the social centre of Igala land.  While Kogi State government rehabilitates Anyigba township roads, Dekina Local Government Chairman, Hon Benjamin Ikani Okolo, gives facelift to the entire Anyigba town with numerous projects.  Anyigba is no longer a dirty town.
However, he is press-shy and would not let the world know what he is doing through the press. Abdul S. Aji, a principal reporter withThe Graphic newspaper stumbled on the activities of Ikani Okolo on the internet and feels that the people must know these.
Dekina Local Government Chairman, Hon. Benjamin Ikani Okolo, a one time recipient of NUJ Graphic Chapel award of excellence, was responding to critics on ProjectIgala platform on the internet and in the process he voiced out his achievements as a Local Government Chairman. Excerpts:
I came into office in August, 2008. Upon assumption, I did not inherit any uncompleted project. On records, there was no single project conceived in the last three years preceding my time. What I inherited was a cash liability of N66, 746,981.60. I also inherited a secretariat complex which also accommodated the chairman, vice chairman, secretary of council and other senior administrative staff. It was so dilapidated that it carried perforated zinc and broken windows that I had to be beaten by rain three days after assumption of office.
From the fundamental, since inception, I do not owe staff salary and allowances till date, i.e. October 2010. I have also paid N34, 675,981.59 out of the arrears I inherited.  Physical projects; I have built a storey building of six offices, conference hall and as office accommodation for the chairman. The secretariat has been rehabilitated whole and entire.  I have also built an ultra modern legislative chamber with six offices for the use of the legislature.
I have also built one storey building of 8 rooms as official residence of the chairman. Also a 4 bed room bungalow for the vice chairman has been built. I have also built 12 units of 3 bed room bungalow for the councilors. I have also built 5 units of 2 bed room semi-detached for the heads of departments. The head of council administration and treasurer were not living in Dekina before I came; I have put a befitting accommodation for them today.
I have built four blocks of classroom in the following villages. Iji-Anyigba, Olofu, Abocho, Oko-oda, Odu-okpakili ogane, Okokoli Dekina, Ogene Egume, Odu ofugo, Oganenigu, Udanebiomi, Ogbobutu, Ajiolo aj’Akwu Awulu, Odu ofugo-ogane, Odu Akpakili ate , Okura-Lafia. These are 15 villages.
I have also built Primary Health Centres (PHC) with 8 beds each in the following villages. Agada, Ogbabede, Etutekpe, Ogene-Igbobe, Emewe Efopa, Olowa etiaja, Agala-ate, Odu ofadu and Ajiolo aj’Ikpome. These are 8 villages.
Being abreast with the plights of the grass root, I have also built cottage hospitals in the three districts of Dekina.  My intention for this is to have a place where qualified medical doctors, pharmacists and a lab technician will attend to severe cases that can not be handled at the PHC. It carries 15 beds each and accommodation for these personnel.  For the records, I have procured state of the art ultra sound machines and scanning machines also. You can inspect.
I have also provided electricity for the following communities. Anyigba to Agala ate with 300 kva transformer, 4.8 km. Abadigba to Ojikpadala aj’Achaba with 200 kva.5.3km. Anyigba to Agala okpakpala with 100 kva2.3km. Abuja area in Anyihba to Oko Ogbe with 200kva2.2km. Ogene-Egume to Acharu with 300kva6.9km. Acharu to Ogbogodo-Lokoja with 200kva3.6km. Agbeji aj’Ikagbo to Ojuwo with 300kva3.4km. Agbenema to Ojofu with 300kva3.3km. Anyigba, Oganeaji, Olofu, Ajagwumu, Ajiolo-akabe, Ajiolo aj’Ikpome, Ajiolo ojaji, Ogbaloto, Olub’ojo, Omadene, Ajenejo, Ajakagwu, Ogboniya and Dekina town. This project is carrying 5 transformers one of which is 200kva and the rest 300kva 31km. Ajiolo ojiaji, Ajiolo Ofe-alemu, Okakwu, Okowowolo, Ajekelega and Abocho town. It carries 5 transformers one of which is 300 kva and the rest are 200 kva 14.8km. Ofeaya community from Diagnostic hospital junction with 200 kva 2 km.
The following I have awarded and are about 70 percent complete. University village, behind high court, with 200 kva 2.3km.  Lona filling station to NTA station Anyigba with 100 kva 2.8 km. Second phase of the university from Asta quarters with 200 kva3.3km. Iyale junction, Etikpolo, Okabo, Agbeji-Ologba, Ologba town, Etutekpe town, Ikpakpala town and Iyale town. It carries 6 transformer 3 are 300 kva and the rest are 200kva, 32 km. I have surface dressed Anyigba Motor Park and I have built 96 lock up shops inside the park.
I have also built 200 units of open market stores in Abocho, 100 units in Iyale, 100 units in Egume and 100 units in Okura. I have also drilled 2 motorized bore holes in Emewe ofopa and up hill Dekina. Considering the cost of drilling a motorized one juxtaposed with the desire of government under my leadership in relation with the demand of our people for water, I decided that the hand drilling option be embraced.  Government has approved 30 and 16 have been awarded in the first phase.
I have procured earth moving machines such as Bulldozer, Grader, Pay loader and a ten tire tipper. With these you can only imagine what we have achieved on our feeder roads. You can ask the good people of Ogane-Enugu who had no road in a long time until my assumption of office. Testimonies abound. I have constructed a pond that can carry 10,000 fingerlings.
The traditional rulers have also benefited from my leadership: the two first class chiefs with Prado jeep, the two second class chiefs with Toyota Avensis while the seven third class chiefs have Hyundai Accent. My empowerment program ranks the best in the whole state.
As a matter of fact, what developed countries of the world showcase today are results of conscious planning and permanent commitment to development strategies and options combined with unwavering zeal for implementation of such strategies therein.
Dekina was created in 1976 and I came in 2008. I came in as the number 30 after 32 years.
Reference: Dividends of Democracy Spreads at Dekina
By Abdul S. Aji

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