By Mohammed Baba Busu
Lafia, Oct. 7, 2020 The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed a motion urging the State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) not to delay the conduct of local government elections in the state.
The assembly’s decision followed a motion under Matters of Public Interest by Mohammed Ibrahim-Alkali, Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Ibrahim-Alkali said it was important for NASIEC to begin preparation early for the conduct of local government council election, especially as the tenure of the current leadership would end in May 2021.
According to him, it is undemocratic and unconstitutional to allow non-elected persons to run the tier of government.
He said it was only constitutional for democratically elected leadership to handover to another, saying, “anything short of that is unconstitutional”.
“Section 7(1) of the constitution allows for a democratically elected third tier of government, it mandates every state to enact laws that provide for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils,” the lawmaker said.
Supporting the motion, Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Daniel Ogazi (APC-Kokona East), said there were constitutional reasons why local council election in the state should not be delayed.
Also speaking on the issue, the Minority Leader, Mr Danladi Jatau (PDP-Kokona West), described the motion as well though-out and in the interest of the grassroots.
Jatau said that although it is unconstitutional to delay election into the councils, the focus should be to ensure fairness and transparency in the process.
The Speaker of the house, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, said that the importance and legality of timely conduct of election could not be over emphasised.
“The house’s resolution is that NASIEC should be aware that the tenure of the current local government leadership in the state is gradually ending.
“As an umpire, NASIEC should fast-track the process of conducting elections into the local government councils in the state, this will be in the interest of the people,”Balarabe-Abdullahi said.