Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On local Government tenure bill

On local government tenure bill

Published: Monday, 17 Nov 2008
In a recent media report, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has declined to assent to the controversial local government amendment bill passed by the state legislature.
The bill reduces the tenure of council officials from two and a half years to one.
The House, led by Speaker Barker, claimed that their action was to forestall corruption at the third tier of government.
In returning the bill to the House, Gov. Nyako described the proposed one year tenure as “capital intensive,” adding that conducting local government poll yearly will be cumbersome.
Local Government elections are not conducted on annual basis in any part of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He further directed them to the directives of PDP National body calling on all PDP controlled states to fix tenure for elected council officials at three years.
He therefore advised the lawmakers to reconsider their positions in the interest of development, democracy and socio-economic well-being of the electorate at the grassroots.
Nyako is, indeed, a courageous Nigerian and chief servant of the people.
We also give kudos to Mrs. Wale Fwa, whose lone voice in opposing the infamous bill cost her her position as the Chairman, House Committee on Information and the chief Whip of the House.
The excuse of Adamawa State House of Assembly, citing corruption as their main reason, does not hold water; but the real motive is that, after one year tenure, they will position themselves as local government administrators in their various council areas.
It happened in Akwa Ibom State sometime ago, but this time, it should be resisted by the people.
In fact, it is time the National Assembly drew the line on the tenure of elected council officials so as to reduce tension in the body polity.
Jeff Nkwocha, konsult101@yahoo.com