SINCE the inception of the present local government administration in Ovia North-East on April 22nd 2013 there has not been any dull moment in terms of serving the primary purpose of governance which centres on meeting the needs of the people.
Convinced about this all important responsibility, the APC administration under the able leadership of Barr (Mrs.) Lucy Omagbon hit the ground running with the execution of several legacy projects that have direct bearings on the well-being of the people.
In the near two years of being in the saddle the Mrs. Omagbon APC administration has re-written the narrative of the council area from that of obscurity to success, and from story to glory. Mrs. Omagbon who many describe as a woman of substance who succeeds where many had failed wasted no time in understanding the basic challenges facing the local government area and its people.
Being a predominantly agrarian locality, the APC administration realized that the rural farmers needed road infrastructure to be able to evacuate their agricultural produce to the markets and decided to embark on the construction of new roads and rehabilitation of existing ones.
As we speak, many more earth roads have been opened up with residents of benefiting communities appreciating the chairman’s kind gesture.
Some of the benefiting communities including Iyanoman-Ugbokun, Abumwenre II, Ugboke in Okada East and Okokhua wards had their several kilometres of earth roads stretching to Ugbokuli fully rehabilitated.
Also Igo-Obazuwa-Ikoro earth roads in Oghede ward got the magic torch of the Lucy Omagbon administration.
The road rehabilitation works drew positive comments from residents of benefiting communities including the Odionwere of Abumwenre, Pa Solomon Omoragbon who commended the chairman for reconstructing the road which received no attention from successive previous administrations of the council for several years past.
The attitude was the same at Ugboke where the grading work on the road is expected to terminate as the people praised the council boss for remembering their interior community which had for many years got no government attention.
Leaders of both communities subsequently prayed for the success of the administration in the council to enable it deliver on its mandate. Like Oliver wist, the people appealed to the chairman to provide them with portable water and a primary school which the chairman has graciously approved.
The earth roads rehabilitation revolution in the council area also resonated in Egboha 1 and 11 and Yoruba communities in and Okada East wards with several kilometers of earth roads getting the attention of the APC government in the LGA.
The joy of the Ugbuke people knew no bounds as they danced to the rhythm of their stamping feet in appreciation.
Responding to reporter’s question as to the reason of their overwhelming excitement, the people said they were surprise at the immediacy of the response time by the chairman to the request particularly against the backdrop of previous experiences where promises made in that regard were never kept.
Speaking on behalf of the Odionwere of Ugboke community Chief Iyahen Ota and woman leader Mrs. Rose Ogualigho said they were satisfied with what the council boss had done with the road, saying they have not felt any government presence for a very long time.
According to them, the rehabilitation of the 12 kilometres road which traverses over neighbouring communities including Oshiodin 1 and II, Okokodo I and II and Areyan was a big relief as it would boost the socio-economic life of the people.
We only appealed to the council chairman Mrs. Lucy Omagbon about two weeks ago to help us by faith, not by any shade of conviction that any help would come from that direction to salvage the deplorable road, here we are today, the road has been fixed by no other person than the council chairman.
The chairman’s road rehabilitation train did not halt at the afore stated communities as it moved to Eghoha I and II, Sule camp and other Yoruba communities in Uhen and Okada East ward where the council authorities carried out massive rehabilitation works on their earth roads.
Expectedly, the people expressed gratitude to the Ovia North East Council boss and the Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole for fixing their long abandoned roads save for their self help palliative measures on the road which made them barely motorable in the past.
The people expressed their readiness to continue to support the All Progressive Congress (APC) in all elections owing to the purposeful governance brought to bear in Edo State by the Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration in the state since 2008 which the Omagbon administration has tried her best to replicate in the local council area.
To vote otherwise they contended would mean a return to the purposeless and dark era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which for nearly a decade mismanaged the resources of the state at the detriment of the people.
They advised neighbouring communities not to fall for the bait of PDP whose candidates in the forth coming general elections are deceptively masquerading as change agents.
This was also the position of the people of Iyanomo and Ugbokun communities also in Okada East ward as earth moving machines swung into action to fix the long abandoned road linking the two communities after it had been opened up earlier. Infact there was no road here before.
The people while appreciating the APC administration for matching its words with action, they promised to reciprocate the gesture by voting massively for all APC candidates in the March 28 and April 11, 2015 general elections.
It is worth noting that while the bulldozers were doing what they knew how best in Okada-East ward, the 6 km road linking Iguelegbon and Ugbine in Oduna ward was simultaneously getting the needed attention. At the same time, Omore road in Evbuomore stretching to the river in Oluku ward was also being graded.
The excited and jubilant people of the two communities besides thanking the council boss for extending the earth roads rehabilitation revolution to them who live in the Iguelegbon-Ugbine road corridor said the rehabilitated road has brought great relief to them.
If you agree that the Lucy Omagbon administration has changed the face of roads and rural infrastructure in the council area, you will not agree less that her administration has changed the face of the council secretariat in Okada.
Records have it that prior to the Mrs. Omagbon administration in Ovia North East, the Council Secretariat was no less a collection of shanties unfit for human habitation. The premises were taken over by persons who converted them to farms. The narrative has been changed in the nearly two years of Mrs. Omagbon taking over the reins of power in the local government area. The secretariat now wears a better look with all the offices which were without the requisite furniture now boast of some modest ones.
The chairman has taken a step further by embarking on the construction of a multimillion naira new secretariat complex that would address the problem of inadequate office accommodation for council personnel.
The modern architectural masterpiece is already catching the attention of visitors and residents of Okada, the administrative headquarters of Ovia North East Local Government Area.
LABOUR RELATIONS
On the labour front, the APC administration has done excellently well following the cordial relationship it has with workers of the council. In fact, the administration has changed the story of lamentation among the council workers to celebration owing to the prompt attention given to matters of workers’ welfare including the prompt payments of their salaries.
This would have been a mirage if the council boss had not plugged all the loop holes that had constituted serious drain on the council’s lean resources.
TRANSPORTATION
As part of its efforts to grow the economy of the council particularly in the area of movement of goods and services, the Mrs. Omagbon in the early life of the administration launched a mass transit scheme Ovia North East Line to facilitate both intra and inter state movements of the people of the locality.
The scheme which started with a fleet of 10 Toyota Hiace buses has now been increased to 19 owing to additional nine buses purchased to boost the operation of the transport scheme last year.
The impact this particular programme has had on the people is quite encouraging as people and visitors to Okada the council headquarter from Benin City as in elsewhere particularly UNIBEN students who take advantage of the Lagos-Benin services of the transport scheme now travel in safety, comfort and reliability as the buses are available at all times. Added to this are the few persons the scheme has been able to remove from the labour market.
ELECTRICITY
The objective of the current administration is to light up the entire communities in the local government area. This noble desire has been hamstringed by the council’s lean resources. However, the Mrs. Omagbon administration has embarked on the extension of electricity to several communities. Beginning from Izakagbo and three other communities in Ofunwengbe ward to Evbuoro communities in Oghede ward, the administration is on the verge of providing electricity to the residents who are soon to savour the benefits of electric power supply chief of which would enhance  the socio-economic lives of the people.
EDUCATION
The Omagbon administration wasted no time in keying into the red roof revolution as the Comrade Governor’s education programme of massive schools reconstruction and rehabilitation is commonly referred to. As a result, several primary schools including Enikaro primary school, Igbobi and Ovoramwen primary school are currently receiving government attention in the local government area while that of Ekosodi have been completely rehabilitated. In some cases, new blocks of classrooms are erected in place of the dilapidated ones with the full compliment of headmasters’ offices and modern toilet facilities.
In addition, the APC government had at different times procured and distributed furniture to many primary schools across the 13 wards that make up the council area.
This singular gesture has in no small measure boosted the child school enrolment thereby reducing the incidences of out of school children in the affected communities. The council boss has however promised to increase the number of schools to be remodeled in the New Year in order for more communities to earn the full benefits of such modernization.
HEALTH
In a bid to enhance the health status of residents of the local government area, the Mrs. Omagbon APC administration built and equipped the Egbeta Health Centre. The Amazon did not stop there as the council’s administration under her superintendence has kick started the construction of another ultra modern health facility in Odighi community.
When completed, the centre would attend to the general health needs of people of the immediate community and their neighbours particularly women and children and ultimately reduce incidences of infant and maternal mortality. Added to this feet is the encouragement of health workers in the area with the purchase of brand new Hilux van and many motor-bikes for them as well as other forms of remuneration aimed at promoting immunization work in the area.
WATER
Okada town, headquarters of the council area has had an industrial borehole sunk for residents who now enjoy it with the water reticulated to every part of the town. The borehole has just been officially commissioned along side Iguesogban primary school, just as the people rolled out their drums in celebration.
Efforts are being made to provide more community including Abumwenre, Ugboke, Egboha and Yoruba camp, with similar water facilities.