Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has set up a 135-member Elders’ Advisory Council with five drawn from each of the 27 local government areas.
At the inauguration of the council at the Government House, Owerri, on Tuesday, Gov Okorocha said that beside their advisory role, the elders will also provide constructive criticisms of the government.
He said that the government took time to select members of the council to ensure that none of them is into partisan politics.
He said: “The Elders’ Council must be independent. Members will always advise the government and offer the government constructive criticisms regularly. That is why we have made the council to be independent. We have also taken time in the choice of the members of the council to ensure that they are not into partisan politics and do not have any strong political affiliation with any of the political parties or politicians. The essence is to ensure credibility of their personalities and what they set out to do.
According to Okorocha, the council will also serve as the bridge between the political parties, elders across Nigeria and even between politicians within and outside the state.
He said the action is in line with his belief that elders are those who understand the past and have a clear view of the future.
Okorocha explained that members of the council are not below 70 years of age and have quit politics or the civil service, adding that they must be people of proven integrity who would not be afraid to say the truth no mater whose ox is gored.