One of the most disheartening socio-political reality of our time in Ika land, particularly in Ika South Local Government Area is the enthronement of mediocrity in place of excellence.
In the past few years, especially since the return to popular democracy and governance, there has been this regrettable tendency by the so-called kingmakers in the politics of Ika South to put forward those who, from every indication and assessment, do not possess what it takes, to direct the collective affairs of the people.
Take for instance, the outdated and myopic argument by some persons, who are supposed to know better, that the only verifiable qualification needed to contest election in the Local Government is for one to have lived in the community all his life, as if having doiniciled in an area is enough to make somebody a better and good representative of the people.
The lack-lustre interest of our people in politics, particularly the educated elites has tended to give ample room to mediocres to tighten their grip on the political environment. To the extent, that it has become somewhat a game for the unserious and unfocused, who believe that occupying political positions, is the only avenue for them to make a living.
In the past, the council secretariat had been occupied by councillors who barely had knowledge of the edict establishing the local government, not to talk of knowing their statutory responsibility, which include making sure that the executive carry out its functions along the line of due process and accountability
Majority of these councilors, because of the brevity of the scope of their appreciation of the workings of democracy, hardly realized that they were voted in to stand in the gap for their various wards. They acted and carried on in such a manner that exposed their ignorance. They forgot or may be did not know that they were sent by their people to do a job.
While we concede that acquiring higher education does not necessary translate to good moral conduct and excellent performance, the fact however cannot be erased of the importance of good education in the lives of individuals and communities.
It is time we started craving and working towards enthroning responsible and excellent driven leadership, especially at the L.G.A. level.
Anybody who cannot confidently and sufficiently defend himself in terms of his professed qualification, more especially for those bringing themselves out for councillorship positions anywhere in Ika land must be told point blank that he is not fit to occupy such exalted elective positions.
We must create an environment that will be attractive to Ika indigenes, particularly those in diaspora and non-Ika indigenes who will be interested in investing in the area. We must by our actions and activities show the world that we are serious-minded people who treasure excellence and hard work.
If possible, our political decision makers should make the councillorship position unattainable for people who are not willing to improve themselves academically, by insisting on a benchmark of academic qualification, preferably NCE, HND and BSC holders and to equally have a proven track-record of successful outings in any recognizable field of endeavour.
For now, all attention is focused on the forth-coming local government election, which has remained in amoebic shape, as a result of lack of clear-cut direction by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) in the conduct of the election.
As the people awaits the conduct of the election, it is an opportunity to take proper evaluation of the place of Ika land in the state.
Our people must see the need to promote excellence and not mediocrity in the running of the affairs of Ika South and Ika North East Local Government Areas.
The political leaders should see the seeming delay in organizing the council election as an opportunity to redress the mistakes of the past by putting in place measures that could aid in entrenching responsible and acceptable leadership at the council level.
Everyone of us is aware of the abundance of highly qualified and morally upright Ika indigenes who can effectively and efficiently pilot the affairs of the third tier of governance in Ika land.
If we have the right calibre of persons as chairmen and councillors, before long, the land of Ika will begin to experience landmark developmental strides.
Our proposed chairmen should develop agendas and cultivate the strength of character that will help them implement their manifestoes and blueprints, when they assume office. They should regard themselves as the privileged ones, and as such, agents of change and sustainable development, in Ika land.
From now on, political actors in Ika land should make excellence and performance their trademark. Mediocres should not be given any space, no matter how limited. This time, we must all join forces to extirpate all vestiges of mediocrity in the political arena.