‘Why Enugu Assembly extended council caretakers’ tenure’

Hon. Edward Ubosi, Speaker ENHA
Hon. Edward Ubosi, Speaker ENHA

Amid criticisms over the decision of the Enugu State government to run affairs of the 17 local councils from January 5, with caretaker committees, the State House of Assembly yesterday, said that it decided to amend the tenure of the committees to afford incoming caretakers enough time to perform their duties.

The lawmakers, at a sitting in Enugu, had amended the provision on tenure of caretaker committee in the local councils, allowing appointed members to serve a two-year tenure instead of the three months earlier provided by law.

The amendment also gives the governor opportunity to conduct the election any time he so wished within the two-year window.

House Committee Chairman on Information, Paul Nnajiofor told The Guardian in Enugu, yesterday, that the amendment became necessary to enable the caretaker committee members impact “meaningfully in the development of the state.”

He stated that the “three months provided by the law was inadequate for any reasonable impacts on development and rural transformation,” adding that within the time frame, it was expected that governor, bearing in mind the resources of the state, could conduct elections at the council level.

Nnajiofor said that though the state was looking forward to having appointed officials to serve at the councils from next week, government was desirous of performance by those who would benefit from the new amendment.

“We have also approved the provision that could enable the governor remove any of the appointees that may be found wanting in the discharge of his responsibilities. It is not going to be a jamboree or appointment to settle the boys but something that is dare to this administration in line with the governor’s determination to ensure development of the entire state,” he said.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had hinged his inability to conduct elections into the local councils on paucity of funds. He told a stakeholders meeting last month that the immediate past administration failed to provide for the conduct of the election in the 2015 budget, knowing that tenure of current elected executives expired by January 4. (The Guardian)

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