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Lawless Governors: Electoral Bodies Move Against LGA Caretaker Chairmen

May 14, 2012

18 parties set for A’Ibom council polls

STATE governors still using the services of caretaker chairmen at the local council levels instead of elected council chairmen as directed by the constitution have been directed as a matter of urgency to allow council elections or face the wrath of the law.

Besides, Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISEC) chairman Mrs. Gloria Ukpong has said that 18 different political parties would be participating in the council elections in the state billed for June 9, 2012.

Ukpong made this known in an interview with The Guardian in her office in Uyo.

The directive to state governors that came from the leadership of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions in Nigeria was to allow elected chairmen oversee the affairs of local councils in the country.

The president of the forum, Chief Lazarus Nwanchukwu who made this known yesterday while briefing journalists on the outcome of the just-concluded council election in Taraba State said the forum would use legitimate means to compel state governors to organise council elections in their states.

Wondering why “some governors” had deliberately “refused” to allow  councils elections in their states in spite of the availability of funds,  he said that the forum   “would soon confront governors still operating caretakers system of running their local governments.”

He urged journalists to join forces with the forum to confront state governors that were still feeding fat on the services of caretaker chairmen.

Collaborating Nwachukwu, the National Secretary of the forum, Hanatu Usman, lamented that despite the constitutional provision, only “thirteen states out of the thirty-six states in the country, had conducted elections in their local government councils.”

Usman who doubled as the chairperson of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KSIEC) lauded the efforts of the Taraba State government in conducting local council polls in spite of the security challenges.

To achieve the aim of forcing state governors to map out strategies for council elections in their various states, Usman observed the need for the two groups to partner journalists.

Some political parties under the umbrella of the Taraba State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) had earlier taken the governor, the lawmakers and the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of the state to court on their “deliberate refusal” to make funds available for the commission to conduct the councils election.

The AKISEC boss said the local council election was different from national elections because it was grassroots election that would touch on the grassroots populace and stressed that the council polls in the state would be free and fair.

Culled from Guardian of Monday 14th May 2012

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