APGA decries PDP’s apathy towards council election
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has condemned the failure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to conduct election in Abia State, describing it as a deliberate ploy to sustain the diversion of council funds, to the detriment of the people at the grassroots.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the state chairman of the party, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, said it is undemocratic to run local government system without elected officials. He noted that the situation has underdeveloped the state and rural areas in the last eight years, since the party assumed power.
“People at the rural areas are not getting the benefits of third tier of government, because the money meant for the councils are carted away by the PDP government. There is massive infrastructural decay. APGA has always made the need for local government election its top priority.
“It is unfortunate that the immediate past governor of the state, Theodore Orji, never deemed it fit to conduct council poll, until the expiration of his tenure. It is very sad that it has contributed to the underdeveloped of the state and rural areas. They have continued to divert the local governments’ allocations all the years, causing serious underdevelopment for the local governments.
“Nothing is going on, the roads are bad, people are hungry, the youths are unemployed, for eight years under Orji. The present governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has also started using caretaker committee chairmen, he is also toeing the line of his predecessor and this is a system that can never give any dividend of democracy to the rural populace, it is a very unfortunate situation in Abia State, but we are praying that a government of the people will come to stay in a short while,” he said.
Ehiemere said APGA has not kept quiet on the issue, noting that it has always been advocating for democratically elected officials to run the affairs of the council, “but the problem we have is that the immediate past administration, including the present, tried to ensure that all we have been saying could not get to the print and electronic media, but of recent APGA has been very vocal.”
He assured the people of the state that they would soon enjoy the dividends of democracy, which will spread to the grassroots. “I want to tell you that this government has few months to stay and then they will leave office because the government is illegal, they were not chosen by the people. So, they are occupying the seat of government in Abia illegally.
Recall that the last council poll was held in January 2008 and since the officials served out their term in 2010, the councils are being run by Transition Committees, comprising chairmen and councilors, till the expiration of the tenure of last administration.
Last June, the new governor, Ikpeazu swore in another set of officials to run the affairs of the 17 councils, but never mentioned anything about conducting council election.
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