The Executive Director Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul has described the continuous extension of unelected Local Government Administrators under the current administration in Kogi State is worrisome and dangerous.
In a statement signed by Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul copy of which was made available to Journalists in Lokoja, said that this trend negates the constitution provision of conducting election into councils every three years.
Abdul explained that it seems that the government and the governor himself does not know the implications of this action of non-conduct of Local Government Elections in the last two and half years.
“A government that is brought into power through constitution and constitutionalism, have refuse consistently to uphold the tenet of rule of law as it affect the conduct of Local Government Elections in Kogi State.
“Local Government Administration is the third tier of the government recognized by law and the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. For a government that came into being on the 27th of January 2016 and the tenure of the democratically elected Local Government Council which he inherited from the precious administration came to an end on the 6th of May 2016.
“The 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets did not make provisions for the conduct of elections into the Local Government Administrations despite the billions of naira received by this government in Kogi State on behalf of the Local Government Statutorily, it has failed to conduct elections into the Local Government Council in Kogi State, under disguise of lack of fund.
“We challenge the government of Alh. Yahaya Bello to publish the detail of the monies received on be behalf of the Local Government Councils from January 2016 to September 2018 and what it has done with such fund. Specifically, section 7(1) clearly stated there shall be democratically elected Local Government Council. Under the current administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello who took oath of office on the 27th January 2016 to protect and uphold the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Executive Governor of the Kogi State,” he stressed.
The rights activist lamented that despite the first appointment and inauguration of the unelected administrators were not even approved by the Kogi State House of Assembly, noting that the Governor transmitted a letter on the 10th November 2017 requesting for the extension of the administrators by 6 months due to lack of fund and insecurity.
“The same government admitted on the 23rd of April 2017 at a stakeholder meeting in Government House that it has received N10 billion naira on behalf of the Local Government Councils in Kogi State as part of it transparency and accountability.
“Based on request from the same governor, Kogi House of Assembly again extended the tenure of the unelected administrators for the third time on the 10th of April 2018 on the same excuse of lack of fund and insecurity. Again, on the 11th of October 2018, the same Kogi State House of Assembly extended tenure of the administrators for another 6 months,” he pointed out.
He further described decision of the state government as more laughable to mention that the disaster was ravaging some few local governments in the state as a hindrance for the non-conduct of the Local Government elections when in 2018 budget, there is no single provision for the conduct of Local Government elections.
“Was there a flood when the 2018 budget was prepared and assented to? We wish to alert the people of Kogi and Nigerian at large that despite this latest extension that will be expiring by the end of April 2019, which coincidentally will be few weeks after the General Elections, and the same governor will be preparing for his second term in office, where will he get money to conduct elections to the Local Government Councils which he has not been able to conduct in the last two and half years.
“We call on this government in Kogi State to put genuine machineries in place for the conduct of Local Government Elections, as if nobody could ask them question because of the current position they occupy, we believe the Almighty God will ask them now and thereafter, as no condition is permanent,” he added.