APGA Kicks Against One-year Tenure For Elected Local Government Council chiefs In Nasarawa
The Nasarawa State chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has said that the one-year tenure approved for elected local government officials was not enough for any meaningful impact.
Its Chairman, Mr Musa Saidu, said on Wednesday in Lafia that one year was not even enough for the officials to settle into the offices, study the concerns of the people, and order their priorities.
The state government had approved a one-year tenure for elected local government chairmen and councillors, with fresh elections conducted every year.
Saidu, who described the tenure as “unrealistic”, wondered what the officials could achieve in one year after months of campaigns during which they made promises to the electorate.
He called for a review of the tenure to “at least three years” to give the elected officials ample time to fulfill their promises and execute projects that would improve the living standards of the rural dwellers.
The APGA chairman observed that the one-year tenure was not cost effective, saying that the task of conducting local government elections every year constituted “a huge drain” on limited resources.
Saidu also expressed APGA’s support to the move by the National Assembly to abolish State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“Abolishing State Independent Electoral Commissions will restore public confidence in local government elections.
“Currently, state governors manipulate the processes because they appoint and control the electoral officers. The ruling party merely selects the officials with results often announced before the polls begin,” he claimed.
Saidu urged state Houses of Assembly and other stakeholders to support the move to grant autonomy to local governments to enable them function properly as the third tier of government.
“If local governments become autonomous and INEC is mandated to conduct their polls, their tenure will be the same in all states and their impact will be much” he said.