I COMMEND the Inter-Government Relations Minister Pila Niningi in his recent warning to councillors to comply with election laws and leadership code or face the consequences.
Councillors upon their official declaration should firstly in fulfilment of sections 26, 27 and 28 of the LLGs Administration Act 1997, organise their ward people, call a meeting and elect or appoint five people to be associate members to the Ward Development Committee (WDC).
Out of the five, a minimum of two associate members must be females and all of the associate members will serve a five year term. The ward councillor will be the chairman of the WDC.
The functions of the WDC are basically to be the prime community advisory unit for the ward to the LLG, and to determine the needs of the ward in relation to services, programmes and infrastructure.
It is not the prime responsibility of the councillor and WDC to be “campaign managers” for the MPs or the LLG presidents or to promote their vested interests.
Councillors and presidents have their traditional roles to play at the community level and should denounce the myth that they are like the national parliamentarians.
It is business as usual, community workdays, ensuring leadership in conflict resolution, advocating for development and representing the government at the community level etc.
I urge the councillors of the Agitana, Lonidairi Vasuma, Gobuia and Girabu wards to vote for a better president for the LLG, because the road from Magi Highway’s Gomore turn-off to Lonidairi is in a pathetic state as usual for so many years and that should give them sufficient reason to forego enslavement to insensitive leaders.
I have literally walked the road in very recent times and it is simply a reflection of the demise of leadership coordination and control at the LLG and district level, along with the total lack of concern for the people of the Rigo Koiari area, so to speak.
It would be a real bonus too, if the World Bank’s rural service delivery and local governance programme target these four aforementioned wards as they need such intervention the most, other than those that are already privileged with direct connectivity to essential transport and electricity infrastructure.
Priority should go to the village wards that are disadvantaged and that are ready to build and harness a strong governance culture to drive delivery of essential services at the ward level.