Anambra: APC condemns resort to LG caretaker committees

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Awka – The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra on Thursday said the Anambra Government’s plan to run the local governments by caretaker committees was undemocratic.

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The Secretary of the Party, Mr Chuma Agupugo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the party might take legal actions against the state government on the move.

Agupugo said the APC was worried that the tenure of the elected local government executives in the state had ended on Jan. 12.

According to him, there are no signs that the Anambra State Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) will conduct fresh polls soon to usher-in democratically elected persons at the local government level,

“Membership of ANSIEC has yet to been properly constituted to function.

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“Since September 2015, we have been calling on the APGA-led government to properly constitute ANSIEC for the conduct of local government elections, but they have refused.

“Only for us to hear of a planned bill to allow the elected local government executives whose tenure elapsed on Jan. 12 to continue as caretaker committee members.

“This is a deliberate move to siphon the state’s funds meant for development at the various council areas; it is anti-democracy and we will take every legal means to ensure that caretaker committee does not come on board again in the state.

“Let there be a properly constituted commission to conduct the local government elections which will help the growth of the state economy, human capacity and infrastructure,” Agupugo said.

A pressure group, the Movement for the Conduct of Local Government Elections in Anambra (MCLGEA), has also decried the likely resort to appointed officials to lead grassroots administration in the state.

Mr Osita Obi, its National Coordinator, accused Gov. Willie Obiano of trying to tow the path of his predecessors in office who failed to use elected local government officials during their tenures.

“In Anambra, the local government system is stunted by the same people we give our mandate to preside over our affairs as governors.

“When they get to that position, they cripple the system, but we will mobilise the people against this continued stifling of the democratic process.

“At the moment, ANSIEC has no chairman as the former chairman had retired with no sign for his replacement.

“From what I gathered, the governor wants to appoint the caretaker committee chairmen to run the local government councils when the tenure of the incumbents expires.

“We caution Obiano to desist from doing that and go ahead and follow the constitution by organising local government elections, “ Obi said. (NAN)

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