The Enugu State chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has again slammed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his refusal to conduct council polls, saying he is wreaking havoc on the local government system in the state.
The party also said the state government arm-twisted the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) by denying the electoral body funds to carry out its statutory duties.
Addressing the state congress of the party in Enugu, on Saturday, the newly elected state chairman of the party, John Nwobodo accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state of dishonesty and deceit.
“They first sold a dummy alleging that they needed to first clean up the mess in the local governments. Well, I think it is a damning verdict on the PDP by the PDP. It means they have never manned it well. They manned it to a mess”, he said.
Nwobodo, a lawyer and social activist, said it has become obvious that the main reason for appointing caretakers instead of conducting local government election was because the PDP government knew they have lost touch with the people and were therefore afraid of losing the election.
He said: “The people were ready to flag them the red card. So they smartly in the guise of caretaker committees appointed a local government administration which to all intent and purposes are substantive.
“The PDP dominated Enugu State House of Assembly amended the Local Government Law giving the transitional administration two years in the first instance renewable for a further term of two years.
“You are aware that previously transitional administrations do not last longer than six months in the first instance.”
Nwobodo also took a swipe at the immediate past PDP administration of Mr. Sullivan Chime in the state, accusing it of embarking on balkanization of public assets in the state at the tail end of the administration.
“The immediate past administration at the twilight of its administration went prodigal, fleeced and frittered our common patrimony and became so much of a “father Christmas” so much so that that all major public assets were sold off, converted to personal use or concessioned at ridiculous and self-serving conditions”, he lamented.
Nwobodo listed some of the public assets as the Hotel Presidential, the International Conference Centre, and the land adjacent to the Enugu State House of Assembly complex where a shopping mall is being developed, violating the designation of the area as the Three Arms Zone.
He also cited the Eastern Nigeria Industrial Estate at No. 30 Zik Avenue, Enugu, and the former official residence of the Attorney General of the state.
Nwobodo alleged further that the huge debt overhang inherited by Ugwuanyi from Chime is weighing down his administration, saying however that the governor pretends otherwise.
He said the newly elected SDP executive was determined to deliver Enugu State to the party in 2019.
“We need to rescue Enugu State first from her captors; only when it had become freed from her captors that one can begin to talk about changing her. PDP is the captor and SDP is the liberator”; he said