By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
There are strong indications that the current elected chairmen of the 20 Local governments and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State would spend 4years in office, which would expire in 2021.
Since late last year, in Lagos political space and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) controversies had trailed the tenure of the council chairmen as there had been moves by some political gladiators to terminate council bosses tenure this year. The controversy was centred around whether the council chairmen are to spend 3 or 4years in office.
It will be recalled that before 2017, elected council chairmen and councillors tenure was 3years which was sequel to the law passed by the state House of Assembly in 2003 fixing the tenure of elected officials at the local level at 3years.
It is pertinent to point that in 2017, an amendment to the law was passed by the state House of Assembly which extends the tenure of elected chairmen and councillors to 4years. The amendment also empowers the Assembly to have full control of discipline and supervision over the councils.
Investigation revealed that controversy arose on whether the former Governor of the State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode signed the amendment bill into law or not, as many APC chieftains in the state are of the view that the tenure of elected council officials still remain at 3years, claiming that Ambode did not sign the ammendment bill into law.
But some APC Chieftains who are strong supporters of the current chairmen are of the opinion that indeed Ambode not only accented to the bill but also the law was gazetted to make it operational.
Reliable sources within the governing Lagos APC revealed that those in support of 3years tenure were winning and that the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu was set to install new caretaker committees for the councils when their 3years supposed tenure expires 25th of this month (July).
It was gathered that the council chairmen’s case was further worsened by an alleged report of their performance conducted on behalf of the Governor which revealed that only seven out of the 57 really performed well and delivered on their mandate and that it ignited the commencement of the compilation of names of caretaker committee members.
It was further gathered that it was Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, who is one of the anti-3years tenure who insisted that the tenure of the chairmen and the councillors is 4years. It was further gathered that he went as far as contacting former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ambode’s administration, Mr Kazeem Adeniji who provided copies of the assented law and how it had been gazetted already. This according to a party source, settled the controversy.
As it is, the elected council officials tenure would end July next year as against this month.
Recalled that Afikuyomi was the Chairman of the APC election committee in 2017 which conducted and supervised the party’s local government primaries held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. The primaries election generated alot of controversies and tension within Lagos APC but was later resolved by leaders of the party.