3 months extension fheir tenuresor present local government regime: Yes or No?
I’ve heard that some local government chairmen in Akwa Ibom are clamouring for an extension of t. At least, three months stay in office. I strongly hope it’s untrue. I’ve tried very hard to ignore it. But like the Prophet in the bible confessed in Jeremiah 20:9 “But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” so have I tried in vain to look away.
Perhaps, those Local Government Chairmen clamouring for extension are not so privileged with knowledge enough on how these things work. May I most respectfully volunteer herein to remedy their handicap.
Constitutionally speaking, a system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is mandatorily guaranteed under section 7 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) and the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in its sixth assembly under the speakership of Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke had legislated to secure that local government democracy which ostensibly premised the Local Government Elections in 2017 and a seamless succeeding election 2020 as due.
Hence, to extend the tenure of the present local government administration is illegal, unconstitutional and bad politics.
Talking about bad politics, it took the intrinsic nobility of the Governor to not just assent the said law but to go ahead to execute it. Asking him now to break it seems more like setting the governor up for impeachment or posterity woes. It will also distort the already established local government administration calendar. If the present out going local government chairmen and councillors mean well for His Excellency three years in office is enough for them; any Oliver Twist bonus should come by other means other than illegal extension of stay in office.
Meanwhile, the argument that they worked for the Governor’s election does not hold water. After all what did they even do better than countless others to earn the office in the first place?
Even if they spent money for the Governor’s election, which almost all sensible Akwa Ibom people find doubtful, it was not their personal money. Let’s not even bother to mention goodwill that only a negligible few of them possess.
It smacks therefore of grave ingratitude and political callousness to tempt His Excellency with such evil. If we truly love Gov. Udom Emmanuel and want him to succeed we should desist from distracting him with such otiose politicking.
Applying the goose and gander morality on the other hand, the present out bound local government Chairmen and councillors were sworn in immediately after their elections in 2017 and they did not complain. They should in that respect gladly step aside for the new administration.
Criminally speaking, in event of any extension, whatever they do from receipt of salaries to appropriation of council funds will be acts of crime for which they will surely be prosecuted. The opposition has never prayed for a better roast opportunity. Typically, this state is not in want of activists and concerned citizens who will readily approach the courts to obtain injunctions against such criminal perpetuity.
As the scripture says “suffer not the witch to live” it would be inimical of a man of God with so much spirit of discernment as His Excellency to extend the “witchful” reign of these out bound council witches. Of course, not all were all bad. But like the parable of wheat and tares, the good Lord knows how to sort the few good ones out.
By the way, what do they want to achieve in a three months extension that they couldn’t achieve in three good years? If truly, there’s no money in the council why torture oneself to spend another day extra?
I write as Ewa Okpo Edmund II
Street Lawyer, Arbitrator