The Mayor of Bende Local Government Area,Abia State, Hon.Barrister Chijioke Nwankwo has promised to work with the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) Abia in the area of information dissemination and communication to showcase some of the laudable projects the Council is executing under his watch, said he is open to constructive criticisms.

Hon. Nwankwo who stated this while giving in audience to the newly Inaugurated executive officials of Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) Abia State who paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Bende LGA,Abia State, said,” I am open to work with you and I am open to support you where we can. “Our leadership is a participatory leadership.I understand the importance of working together. I should be open to work with you because it is a relationship that is mutual, progressive and beneficial”

Mayor Nwankwo who took the Media Practitioners round the Council to factually ascertain some of the projects he has been executing since his assumption to office disclosed that he is open to constructive criticisms and dislikes praise singing as well as bootlickers.

According to him,” I am a man that is very open to constructive criticisms and I would not say I know it all. I will let you access me and let you see my person and access my ability,if I am not doing well,I expect people to tell me the truth.I expect you to be bold enough to tell me the truth of where we need improvement.If you see something that is good, you should be able to say it also”

He encouraged media practitioners in the State to do more of investigative journalism to ensure they are factual in their reportings. “So let us do more of investigative journalism,it will be to my advantage here in Bende because we are doing much we can to change the face of the Council” he stressed.

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Taking the Newsmen round the Council, Nwankwo showed them some of the projects he has executed as well as the on going ones which include, the rehabilitation of the entire building of the political block, legislative block, Hall for traditional rulers ,Staff offices , Works department, Library department , Deputy Mayor’s lodge, construction of a single sports court for three games, volleyball, handball and basketball, removal of all wooden doors and windows in all the offices ,replacing them with iron doors and protectors, installation of new WC, reticulation of water to the offices, purchasing of a trailer load of cement for moulding blocks to fence the Council among others.

” When we resumed work about four months ago,what I met on ground was nothing serious that I can rely on. So we are doing a lot of improvements. I met a very porous environment, I had over ten track roads,we got a trailer load of cement that we are already moulding to see how we can build a fence to secure and safeguard the environment. We are thinking out aloud, within my first month,we worked with the State ministry of Agriculture and had the privilege of hosting the Bulgarian mechanized Farmers.We took them round the Local government on soil test to ascertain areas where they can do mechanize farming,soil samples were taken,they have gone back,we are waiting for the results. Again on Agriculture,we are conducting another round of training,the Councilors have been mandated to raise a minimum of 100 men from each ward in Bende LGA for modern agricultural training. Also in improvement of agriculture,I liaised with some agencies and we brought in about 150 bags of specialized rice grains and we shared them to some selected rice farmers to improve rice production”

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Continuing ,he informed that the target of the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti was that agriculture must be improved to a level where enough can be produced to be able to sale and possibly export and expressed appreciation to the leadership of OMPAN for making Bende LGA their first official visit since their election.

Earlier in his speech,the Chairman of OMPAN and leader of the delegation, chief Promise Uzoma Okoro,informed that the OMPAN EXCO were in Bende LGA Secretariat to interface with the Mayor on the possible ways of partnering with him in the area of information dissemination and communication.

He stated that OMPAN is neither an arm of the opposition nor a tool in the hand of government, added that,” We support the government where necessary and criticize the government when necessary”

He assured that OMPAN under his Leadership would continue to play role of a watchdog which is part of their cooperate social responsibility of educating the people on the different policies of the government and were ready to synergize with Bende LGA administration.

He further congratulated the Mayor for his emergence and encouraged him to continue with the good works he is already doing in Bende Local Government Area.

Among the delegation are the Vice Chairman of OMPAN,Nneka Torti,the General Secretary of OMPAN,Dr Steve Unegbu,the Financial Secretary, Chibuzor Aguwa,the Public Relations Officer, Loveday Chidi and the Director of Welfare,comrade Stanley Nwokonko.

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