Abia LG elections to hold January

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 4 September 2012 | 3,949 times

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Local government elections are to be conducted in Abia State in January next year, Governor Theodore Orji has said.

Council polls were lasted conducted in Abia in 2007 shortly after the governor assumed office to do his first tenure.

Since the expiration of the tenure of the elected chairmen and councillors in 2009, local governments in the state have been run by Transition Committees whereby people are appointed to administer the third tier of government for a maximum period of six months.

Earlier this year, the National Assembly had frowned at what it described as the undemocratic method most states are administering the local government system with appointees rather than elected people and directed states using the system to discard them and conduct council polls immediately.

News Express reports that the Abia State House of Assembly, charged with making good laws for the local governments, had parried questions on why it had not mustered the courage to press for the conduct of council polls in the state, saying that the state was ready for the exercise but decided to put it on hold because of the proposed amendment of the constitution by the National Assembly.

But speaking yesterday in Umuahia, the state capital, Governor Orji attributed the delay in holding council polls in Abia to plans by his administration to institute a sound financial system in the local government system, saying that his administration inherited huge debts left behind by elected council chairmen.

His words: “I inherited N29 billion and additional N2.9 billion unpaid wages and emoluments from the elected council chairmen which I was able to clear with the use of Transition Chairmen. Right now, financial transactions in the local governments are going on very, very well. We have been fighting to plug all loopholes to institute sound financial practices in the local governments.”

The governor told newsmen that the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) would work out the modalities that would ensure level playing field for all the political parties to contest in the forthcoming council polls.

“The Transition Committees we are using is not perpetual. It is an interim exercise. By January, we will do local government election” he stated.

*Photo: Governor Orji

Source: News Express

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