About five months ago, owing to the growing criticisms and a general sentiment, that more than anything else, pictures the local government areas in entropy, and puffs up the call for a decisive debate on its position in our governance structure, a commonwealth front group, initiated a country wide study that aimed at beaming the searchlight on the councils to determine the true nature of the unsettling but prevalent concerns about the status of the LGAs in Nigeria. This singular effort confronted us with another dimension to the points at issue. The result revealed many facts, fallacies and potentials hitherto unknown about and within the local government areas.
The findings of this group showed that even in the deserts, oases could be seen. The LGAs are not altogether bereft of good and good people, such individuals who stand out in their impacts on the lives of the communities and have evidenced a clear-cut, constructive and eminently positive attitude to development of the grassroots, were duly honoured with the Commonwealth Leadership Award. One of these outstanding council chairmen is Alhaji Isah Abdul, the Executive Chairman of Ankpa LGA of Kogi state. Abdul is a man whose character, integrity and commitment to the positive ideals of LG administration counter the uncomplimentary remarks and mind boggling condemnation of LG administration. As yet, no one else has dispensed more dividends of democracy to the people of Ankpa LGA.
Hon Abdul’s concern and empathy with the rural dwellers informed his choice of a rare development model that seeks to make life easier and worth living for the downtrodden masses in his domain. Amidst the meager fund allocations and an outlandish wage bill, Hon Abdul has been showing a dogged commitment to the provision of direct impact dividends to his people. Not a quarter passes without a project of note appearing on his development plate. He has maintained a definitive consistency of developmental strides
The main reason LGAs look dispensable is that they have gone away from the people contrary to the original intent of their creation. The local authority rather than meeting the interests of the people, now mostly exist for themselves, reaching out to the people only when their survival is threatened. But not so with Isah Abdul and others who were awarded the Commonwealth Leadership prize. Abdul is markedly different from his peers by his sense of value and conscience. He has remained diligent and has taken steps to ensure economic development by restoring security and peace, prevented loss of revenue to the council through a purposive staff audit.
The Commonwealth Leadership Award conferred on Abdul is essentially a testament to the desirable qualities of his leadership, it is also meant to spur him into breaking more grounds, and set standard for emulation in fostering change. Hon Abdul is a high potential personality whose life changing values hold great promises.