…To Receive National Network Award
One of the outstanding qualities of Tai Local Government Chairman, Hon. Mbakpone Okpe is his alluring humility. The soft-spoken, easy-going gentleman is humble to a fault.
The crew of National Network Management Team could easily discern this attribute in the Tai Council boss when they paid him courtesy visit at the Tai Council headquarters last week.
National Network had gone there to present an award letter to the Tai Council Chairman in commemoration of its 18th anniversary billed to take place at the Hotel Presidential on the 28th of October.
From his modest dressing, to the manner he defers to his staff and even the way he received the Network management, all spoke of a man who is very humble and simple in nature.
Deriving from this humble attribute is another characteristic a man filled with the milk of kindness for the welfare of his people.
Hon. Okpe while addressing the Management Team of National Network made it clear that he was working very hard to put some infrastructures in place for the welfare of his people.
He disclosed that some media houses had wanted to give him awards in the past, but he had told them that he had not done much to deserve the awards and would want to concentrate on putting some things down for his people first.
He said it had become a norm in the society for politicians to run to the media to sing their praises even when they had not done much for their people to justify such praises.
The Tai Council boss said he preferred to put things down for his people stressing that such infrastructures would not only sing his praises while in office but would sing it when he is out of office.
“I want to be able to put some physical things on the ground. The things will speak for me, even when I have left office,” the Tai LG boss said.
Hon. Okpe appreciated the fact that when people do good things they would be commended, adding however that the wicked ones who could not perform would go out there saying he had used the council fund to procure awards. “So, I have been dodging awards” he declared.
Having now put tangible and verifiable physical things down for the people of Tai, Hon. Okpe said he felt justified to receive the award being planned to be bestowed on him by the National Network Newspaper.
He said the National Network assessment of him through the information it received from opinion polls was correct about him, stressing that if you go round the council you would see those ingredients in him.
“I feel some of the details of what is written here (referring to the award letter) are all realities of my actions and activities for now. I feel satisfied.
“Nobody can come up to challenge me, or say these things National Network had written are not correct, I will take them around and show them,” the council boss said.
He therefore thanked National Network profusely for deeming him fit for the award and promised to come for the award ceremony on the D-day.
The honourable chairman listed the things he had embarked upon to include two signature projects, Educational Training Centre and Market.
On the Educational Training Centre he said he set it up because having spent much money in sending his people for training in skills outside, they had abandoned the programme because of lack of accommodation and transportation.
He had considered it as a waste of the council’s resources, hence he set up the educational Training Centre in Tai where the trainees could walk from their home to the centre without incurring transportation cost.
The second signature project is the market. Hon. Kpone said when he flagged-off the market, he had told the people that both projects would be completed in one year, stressing that the two projects were now almost completed.
The soft spoken Tai Council boss also disclosed that he was planning to construct an office complex somewhere in the council premises, saying the office he was occupying now was inherited and that he was intending to renovate it.
One other project that is very dear to his heart was the arrangement he had almost concluded to employ 200 persons to work at the Primary Health and Education Sectors of the LGA.
He said these key areas lack manpower, and considering that these people were professionally trained, he was engaging them to work in these sectors instead of staying idle at home and waiting for non-existent jobs from the state and federal governments.
He planned to deploy 100 personnel to each of these sectors and post them close to their home to avoid complaints about transportation. He disclosed that he had contacted the Primary Health Board and Education authority on these.
The Honourable Chairman said it would cost the council N60 million every month, at a salary of N30, 000 per person.
However, the cost he said is immaterial to him considering the services they would be rendering, particularly in the primary health sector which is dear to his heart because according to him his people were dying daily as a result of the dearth of medical care.
As if these were not enough, Hon. Okpe said he will flag-off another round of projects by November or December.
National Network Management had approved Hon. Mbakpone Okpe’s nomination for award based on an opinion poll the paper conducted which rated the Tai Council boss high in areas he was considered for award.
The chairman Editorial Board of the National Network, Professor Nsereka attested to this in a speech he made while presenting the award letter to the Tai Council boss.