BY SUZAN EDEH
SINCE the creation of Bauchi State in 1976, local government administration has been governed by duly elected local government chairmen except during the military era. However, since 2007, there has been no autonomy for local governments in the state.
It could be recalled that council polls were last held in 2008, since then the state government have instituted caretakers committee to man the affairs at the grassroots level. Instead of holding elections, Governor Isa Yuguda has been dissolving and appointing sole administrators for all the local councils. Those appointed to oversee the affairs of the councils were mainly civil servants.
Thus, Bauchi State remains one of the states still operating councils with either caretaker or transition committees despite the very serious objections raised by the House of Representatives on the development in Bauhci and other states.
Currently, there is nothing on ground that indicates of immediate plan to conduct fresh local government elections due to what Bauchi State’s chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and state lawmakers considered as ‘lingering litigation filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) over the matter.”
The Secretary to the Bauchi State Government, who announced the dissolution of the caretaker committees had said, “The dissolution of the caretaker committees was informed by the need for effective service delivery and political neutrality in local government administration. Consequently, sole administrators who consist largely of civil servants have been appointed to run the affairs of the local governments pending the conduct of local government council elections.”
Reacting to the issue, Bauchi State Chairman of the CPC, Alhaji Aliyu Sa’idu, and a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo, flayed the development, lamenting that the government had no intention of conducting council polls.
Sa’idu said that government’s refusal to conduct council polls stemmed from its fear of losing out to opposition parties because of its failure to provide the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.