Stakeholders in Anambra State have tasked the governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo on the need to quickly conduct elections into local government councils in the state.
The stakeholders stated this during a forum organised by International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC) in collaboration with the African Centre for Leadership and Development.
The stakeholders comprising of members of civil society organisations, political parties, the church, traditional institution, the media and others noted that in a month’s time, it would be 10 years since after the last local government election was held in the state.
Delivering a lecture on the topic: strengthening accountability in governance and electoral process, a lecturer in the mass communication department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Dr Henry Duru stated that Nigerian governors, not only that of Anambra have successfully cornered the local government system to their gains.
He said: “I don’t know why a Mr Peter Obi, a Bola Tinubu or an Atiku Abubakar would run for presidency, and would never promise that they would conduct governorship election in states when they win, but people aspiring for governorship would promise that they would conduct council polls.
“Conducting elections is a statutory thing, and it is enshrined in the constitution, and not something that any aspirant to a position should be promising anyone.
“The transition committee used by the governor to run the council areas is supposed to be a makeshift thing, pending election, but you now find out that they are almost permanent, and their tenures renewed every three months. That is not right,” Duru said.
Earlier, Chris Azor the coordinator of International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC) and Mr Itia Otabor, Director African Centre for Leadership and Development said the forum was convened to brainstorm on ways to push the government of Anambra State to hold council polls.
Otabor said: “We are not appealing to the governor, we are only reminding him of what he should have done, which he hasn’t done. He is obligated to conduct local government election because it is statutory.”
The stakeholders in a communique unanimously agreed that even flawed electoral processes in Nigeria, holding local government election is better than not holding one at all.