Intense lobbying as Ugwuanyi plans council appointments
INTENSE lobbying by stakeholders and serving council chairmen has taken the centre stage in Enugu State following the plan by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to make caretaker council appointments from November this year when the tenure of the present executives will lapse.
Contacted however, State Commissioner for Local Government Matters, Chijioke Edoga said he was not aware that the governor was considering appointing caretaker committees in the local governments from November this year.
“November is still a long time. The elected council chairmen and their executives are still functioning. Their tenure still subsists. That’s all I can tell you on that”, Edoga said.
Checks at the State Electoral Commission’s office weekend revealed nothing on ground for the conduct of the November elections. A source at the office however, confirmed on condition of anonymity that the commission was awaiting response from the proposal it sent to the state government on the conduct of the exercise.
“We have not been communicated formally for now on the exercise. Ordinarily, we should have started the process before now. But bear in mind that the governor recently appointed two members to fill the vacuum on the board of the commission. We are still hoping that directives will come soon,” the staff said.
Investigations by The Guardian revealed however, that the resolve to appoint caretaker executives from November this year was borne out of the need to save cost, adding that engaging into elections by November would further derail the lean resources of the state.
Another source revealed that the governor had not been at ease with the “ugly manner” in which the elected council executives have conducted the affairs of the councils in the seventeen local government areas of the state.
Several interest groups are lobbying the state governor with the view to allowing them or their area produce the caretaker committee chairmen for their councils.
One is a pressure group under the auspices of Equity and Fairness Forum, Uzo Uwani Local Government Area has called on Governor Ugwuanyi to correct the political imbalance in the council area to ensure justice, equity and fairness among the four zones that make up the local government.
The forum in a statement signed by Francis I. Uzoabalum (Mbanano zone), C. I. Ogbonna (Igboano zone), H. N. Emeka (Ogboli zone) and Jideofo Ikeowa (Adada zone), who are representatives of the four developmental centres sought that chairmanship position of the local government should go to Igboano zone.
It stressed that since current democratic dispensation began in 1999, the Igboano area, which has the highest voting population of 51,918 in Uzo Uwani Council has continued to be marginalized in political appointments in the state.
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