It was all gloomy at Ika South Council Secretariat on Thursday 26th October 2017 as Hon. Fred Ofume bowed out of office as the Council Chairman, handing over to the Head of Personnel Management (HPM) of Ika South Local Government Area, Delta State; Mr. Gideon Okonkwo, who will be in charge till a new executive will emerge in January 2018.
Hon. Ofume who assumed office on the 27th of October 2014 handed over to the HPM of the council on Thursday, as his tenure as the council boss officially expired on Friday 27th October 2017, after three years of service to Ika South people.
Some staff of the Council who was at the Secretariat to bid farewell to Hon. Ofume were seen in tears, describing him as a man of character and diligent in service, who will be dearly missed.
Speaking to an Ika Weekly Newspaper reporter, Hon. Ofume said he is relieved and at the same time has mixed feelings towards leaving office. In his words, “I have been with a group of persons for three years, in the course of the discharge of my duty; some of them became close family friends.
For those who did not understand my ways and became angry with me, or those who I had issues with, I use this opportunity to say I am sorry , I did not mean any harm, it was in the course of business, and in the pursuit of excellence. I came to the council from a private sector; I needed to implement standards, so I had to take certain actions for the betterment of the Council.
It is my hope and wish that the Local Government continues to run seamlessly and that some of the projects we have put on ground will be maintained and built on. I thank some members of the Legislative Arm for supporting and checkmating us, even when they went out of bounds sometimes; it was also in ordinary course of business and pursuit of excellence. I do not hold grudges against anyone.
As for the Local government staff, the Head of Personnel (HPM), the HOD’S and others, I appreciate them all; they are all wonderful set of persons who are very understanding. Some staff believed that there was a lot of money, so they kept wanting and asking, even when the money was not there. Even as I am leaving office, a lot of persons have been making requests as though the Council is coming to an end. Government is a continuum, so service continues”.
Hon. Ofume appreciated the staff of Finance and Treasury department of the Council for their tireless work.
Speaking further, he said the Council has entered into a full time agreement with the developers who have been permitted to build a world class shopping mall which will develop Ika South, as well as the Delta City Bus Park which will come on board soon. He also revealed that an approval has also been given to design and build fifty lock up shops that will be situated at the park, through a BOO (Build, Own and Operate) system due to financial constraints on the part of the Council and the project will be monitored and allotted by the department of works. Listing another developmental stride, he noted that the Council legalized transport system in the local government, hence several transport companies has been registered and they will spring up, operate and begin to expand soon.
Answering questions on his advice and wish for a new executive which will emerge in January 2018, he appealed to the incoming legislature to be corporative with the executive, and also understand that the executive is different from the legislature, thus, they should not act as executives, so that the incoming Chairman can operate effectively.