By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has been enjoined to conduct elections into the 16 local government councils in the state on or before November 1, 2020 or face legal action.
Briefing journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Thursday, a Coalition of Civil Society on Autonomy of local governments in Nigeria, condemned Governor AbdulRazaq’s action in dissolving the Kwara state Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) put in place by the immediate past administration when tenure of members had not expired and despite a court ruling declaring the dissolution illegal.
Convener of the Coalition, Musa Aliu, who is also the Executive Director, Media Advocacy and Technology Centre, Ilorin, has therefore admonished the governor to reinstate the dissolved commission and immediately set in motion the machinery for the conduct of the “already due local government elections in Kwara state,” adding, “where the governor refuses to reinstate the illegally dissolved members of KWASIEC or constitute a new one on or before the 15th day of November, 2020, this illegality will be challenged in court immediately.”
He said: “If Kwara state government refuses to conduct the said elections throughout the month of October 2020 by the Kwara state local government electoral law, the government must conduct the elections on or before the 1st day of November 2020, and failure to do this will definitely be in breach of the provisions of the laws and the government can be compelled through court action to do the needful. We are more than ready to do that.
“It will be patently illegal, null and void for any government as done in Kwara state to constitute or establish any form of administrative structure in the local councils by whatever name called aside from a democratically elected council.
“Specifically in this case, it is illegal for the governor of Kwara state to either constitute a Caretaker Committee or Transition Committee or even run the council by civil servants under the headship of the Director, Personnel and Management as presently being done in Kwara state.
“It should be noted that at the dawn of the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq, the elected councils he met were dissolved. Since then, he has been running the affairs of the 16 local government councils using civil servants.
“From the month of May 2019 to the month of September 2020 the total sum of N41.2 billion had accrued to the 16 local government councils. Who accounts for this when the elected council officials had been sent packing and replaced with civil servants.
“To account for it, individuals and a group like our own will be justified to go to appropriate compel the governor to account for the money of the 16 local government councils. That is exactly what we shall do unless the governor discharges the duty of accountability he owes the people immediately.”
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