THE NEGATIVE OPTICS OF THE RECENT TENURE EXTENSION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT CARE TAKER COMMITTEES IN KOGI STATE BY HAMZA ALIYU


THE NEGATIVE OPTICS OF THE RECENT TENURE EXTENSION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT CARE TAKER COMMITTEES IN KOGI STATE

Background:

IN June 2022, The Kogi State House of Assembly passed the Local Government Autonomy Bill during the 1999 Constitutional Amendment process under the Buhari Administration. This move was hailed by all despite the amendment not being successful due to not getting the required concurrence of 24 State Assemblies. The move brought hope to citizens that alas we as a State, are moving in the right direction as it concerns governance at the local level.

Thus it was heart breaking when in January 2024, the former Administration of then Governor Yahaya Bello, upon the expiration of the tenure of the elected Local Government Councils, which he mid-wifed, appointed Care Taker Committees rather than bequeath an elected successor to the Councils. Its was devasting to Citizens who had expected and called for and wished for a continuity in the local government democratic culture as enshrined in Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

The reasons of poor finances for non conduct of elections at the local government level by the State Government is not only not tenable but downright unbelievable.

The January-April 2024 NET allocation (minus all deductions) to the State and 21 Local Governments, as stated by the Federal Ministry of Finance, stood at over N56.4 Billion Naira (Fifity-Six Billion Naira). This is way more than enough to conduct an form of Local Government Council elections, that would provide Citizens the opportunity to decide who governs them at the local level. This is a violation of their Constitutional Right to participate in governance and deprives them the SOLE dividend of DEMOCRACY (Participation).

 

It is evident that some other reasons and not finance, could be adduced for this inaction. It would have been unthinkable and definitely bother on Unconstitutionality for The President of Nigeria to not conduct elections after four years at the State level and appoint CARE TAKER GOVERNORS! It means that Governors who are the Primary beneficiaries of elections conducted by the Federal Government, must not deny that same rights to others at the Local Council levels

CONCLUSION:

We call on the Alhaji Usman Ododo led administration to as a matter of urgency rescind this extension and make arrangement to immediately organize elections (in any form, shape or manner) into the Local Councils to give our citizens, especially youths, the opportunity to practice democracy and strengthen the culture of elections.

We also call on the Kogi State House of Assembly to ensure that democratic principles and structures are protected and guarded, no matter the pressure and circumstances.

 

___________________
HAMZA ALIYU
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR INGRA

 

 


  • joshua

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