By Peter Duru
MAKURDI – THE Benue State Government has declared that it would be guided by constitutionality and the tenets of rule of law in addressing the succession crisis that has broken out in Tarka Local Government Area of the state.
Acting governor of the state, Chief Steven Lawani, disclosed this while playing host to the caucus members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the troubled local government council, led by Ambassador Dennis Ukume who were in Government House to present their standpoint on the issue to government.
According to the acting governor, the constitution was clear in its provisions for succession in the case of the death of a substantive local government council chairman.
He stated that upon the demise of the former chairman, Mr. Akoom Akume Dajoh, it was a constitutional provision that his deputy should be sworn in as substantive chairman which the government implemented without any form of encumbrance.
Chief Lawani argued that Mr. Stephen Nyityo Kpev was sworn in as the chairman of Tarka local government and he remains the council boss and would continue to be so recognised by the state government.
He noted that whatever positions the caucus members of the party at that local government level hold in respect of the issue, it must be seen to have been in conformity with the provisions of the constitution.
According to him, â€œuntil the substantive chairman resigns or he is dead, I cannot swear-in another person as the chairman of the same local government area,â€ Lawani said.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Amb. Dennis Ukume had intimated the acting governor on the political incarnations of the area since the creation of the council area in 1996.
He concluded by calling on the substantive chairman of Tarka LGA to resign his position to make way for the swearing in of the widow of the late chairman who herself was just inaugurated as the deputy chairman after the demise of her husband, Mr. Akoom Akume Dajoh.