By Ugochukwu Alaribe
The All Progressive Congress, APC, Abia state chapter, has handed a three months ultimatum to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu to conduct local council elections in the state.
The party in a statement by its state publicity secretary, Benedict Godson, noted that the prevailing system of appointing transition committee chairmen to administer local councils cannot bring development to the grassroots and urged the governor to hold elections without further delay.
“As a party, we’ve thought about it, as Abians we’ve had enough of it, we deem it expedient to call on the Abia State Government to organize local government elections within three months for us to elect our chairmen and councilors.
“This call has become urgently important because we can no longer watch our dear state wallow in the wilderness of underdevelopment while other parts of this country are sitting right inside the paradise of democracy. Let nobody get this twisted, LGA election will benefit everyone. It’s not a one party affair.”
The party further stated that only scant attention is paid to local governments by political pundits and media, stressing that the situation has made some persons to use the councils as channels for compensating political loyalists.
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“Our people must realize that 17 Council Chairmen appointed by a Governor are more answerable to him than even his commissioners and aides. Abia cannot develop with Transition Committee Chairmen heading our LGAs. It’s time for us to decide who should lead us in our various local government. TC-Chairmen are not useful in good democracy. Whenever the state government is underperforming, they too will do nothing because they’re responding to the system that appointed them. If we elect our council chairmen and our councilors you’ll be shocked that some of them will perform better than the state government in handling their own affairs.
“Who said Arochukwu LGA cannot take care of themselves with their allocation? Who said Ukwa East and Ukwa West cannot grade and reconstruct dilapidated roads scattered all over the two LGAs? Who is that person that will say that Isuikwuato, Umunneochi and Bende LGAs cannot organize a good natural/local technique of managing and controlling the deadly gully erosion threatening them?
“Who said Aba South, Aba North, Umuahia South and Umuahia North with their huge allocations and business premises around cannot handle the unhygienic conditions of our two urban cities better?
Even the insecurity challenges we’re currently facing can be tackled properly with responsible LGA Chairmen liaising with the Ministry of Homeland Security, community kings and Divisional Police Headquarters in the LGA to form and fund local vigilantes.
While calling on the media, civil society groups and the public to join the APC in demanding for council polls, the party noted that one can build his political career from council Chairman to Governor through performance and prudent management of council resources for the betterment of the people.
“If we have a local government election in Abia and you see elected chairmen receiving allocations directly without the current interference, there’ll be competition to develop and make impact.
“It will be more interesting when different political parties win two to three LGAs. People will see that we’ve been missing a lot for so long. LGA election will help Abia and we urge everyone that loves the state to make this a topical issue.”
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