Monday, December 26, 2011

Anambra LG poll: waiting for Godot?

Anambra LG poll: waiting for Godot?

SIR: The non conduct of local government election in Anambra State since 1999 has continued to attract wide condemnations not only in the statebut all over the country.

Governor Babaginda Aliyu of Niger State has urged Nigerians to exercise their constitutional rights by forcing out state governors subverting the nation’s constitution by using caretaker committee chairmen to run LG councils areas. He made a particular reference to Anambra state when he stated, “I am made to understand that only nine states have elected councils in the country and about 27 states are yet to conduct election for their local government councils in fact, there is a state that since 1999 has never had election.

Why has Anambra State chosen to work at cross purposes with other state governments when it comes to local government development in the country? No matter their claim over rural development, the essence of creating local government which is to bring governance closer to the people, to preserve heritage and common interests of the communities is already defeated in the state.

The Anambra State government led by Governor Peter Obi has perfected the art of postponing LG poll every year. On December 4 2010, LG election was postponed after nomination fees were collected from aspirants. This year again, the November/December date has become untenable after the chairmanship aspirants paid a whooping N1 million to pick nomination forms. Governor Peter Obi will be advancing all sorts of excuses why council election will not hold in the state ranging from lack of fund, insecurity, new voters card but forgetting that the same challenges were faced by other state governments that conduct LG polls in their states.

According to Professor Titus Eze, the former Anambra state Independent Electoral
Commission, ANSIEC chairman, “this atmosphere is intentionally created to enable them not to hold the council election ad-infinitum. Perhaps, the crux of the matter is huge monthly allocation meant to local government’.

Let Gov. Obi take a cue from Gov. Sullivan Chime of neighbouring Enugu State who has been consistently conducting LG poll without even appointing caretaker committee chairmen.

• Jeff Nkwocha,
Warri, Delta State.

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