By Vincent Ujumadu
ANAMBRA State government and the state branch of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have started trading words over the status of local government officials whose tenure would expire on Thursday next week. The state chairman of PDP, Prince Kenneth Emeakayi had on Monday warned of what he described as a looming anarchy and bloodshed in the state government if the state government fails to conduct the council polls before January 14, 2016 when the tenure of the incumbent officials in the third- tier of government would end.
He told members of his party in Awka that Governor Willie Obiano and the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, should be held responsible for any breach of the peace and breakdown of law and order in the state over the issue of non conduct of the local government election.
The PDP chairman recalled that the last local government election was held in Anambra State on January 13, 2014 for a term of office of two years as stipulated by Sections 51(3) and 70 (3) of the Local Government Law of Anambra State, 1999 as amended.
He added that the two years term of office of the serving members of the local government councils in the 21 local government areas will expire on January 14, 2016, in line with the express provisions of the local government law of Anambra State 1999 as amended.
Emeakayi said: “The refusal or failure to hold election for the purpose of electing new set of council members to run the affairs of the 21 local government areas, including their finances at the expiration of two years term of office, by Governor Willie Obiano and APGA, is a breach, gross abuse and violation of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We wish to state unequivocally that the plan by Governor Obiano and APGA to appoint caretaker committees, or to elongate the tenure of office of the local government officials upon the expiration of their tenures on January 14, 2016, is not only criminal, illegal and unconstitutional, but an affront to the democratic systems and norms and the rule of law.
“This shall be met with the strongest resistance. We are fully prepared to mobilize our members and supporters to commence protest match and demonstrations starting from January 14, 2016 against the appointment of caretaker committees by Governor Obiano and we shall sustain the struggle until the right thing is done.”