• Rivers LG chairmen dares Fubara, vows to remain in office after tenure

    Rivers lg chairmen dares fubara vows to remain in office after tenure - nigeria newspapers online
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    The political crisis rocking Rivers State appears not to be ending anytime soon as the incumbent chairmen of the 23 local government areas in the state, have vowed not to vacate office after the expiration of their tenure on June 17, 2024.

    The State Chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON) legal adviser and chairman of Andoni local government area, Erastus Awortu, made the declaration while fielding questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt.

    Awortu stated that the decision of the council to remain in office after June 17, 2024, was based on the recent decision of the State House of Assembly, backed by the amended local government law, to extend their tenure by six months.

    He said: “Yes, we got elected in 2021, our tenure is to expire in June. By now local government election ought to have been conducted and concluded waiting for the swearing-in of those that are victorious. But, the House of Assembly has seen that no action has been taken in respect of conducting the local government election.

    “In their wisdom, saying that there should be any vacuum, we must maintain the democratically elected system as guaranteed in the law, in the constitution and the local government law in Rivers State. They said until elections are done, these local governments should stay in office for another six months in the interim.

    “So, as a matter of fact, it was in respect of that that we also went to court because the state government has not shown any inclination towards conducting the local government election.

    But, what we are seeing is associates of the governor, even from the governor himself, making comments like on June 17 and 18, they are going to invade local government offices and that they are going to burn everybody seen in the offices down. It is an invitation to anarchy.

    “We as local government chairmen are going to be in office because the law says so. The recently amended local government law that created provisions for tenure and functioning of local governments in Rivers State as empowered by the constitution, has given us an additional six month period and we will remain in office until that period expires.”

    Meanwhile, the Chairmen accused Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, of withholding statutory allocation due the 23 local government councils on the state.

    ALGON Chairman in the state and Chairman of Port Harcourt City local government area, Allwell Ihunda, said the allocation of 22 LGA had been withheld since April 2024, that of Emohua LGA started in March 2024.

    Ihunda said: “It has come to the notice of Rivers State chapter of ALGON that the Rivers State government under the leadership of His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has neglected, failed and deliberately refused to hold the statutory Joint Account Allocation Committee meeting (JAAC, which is the prerequisite for the release and disbursement of funds due to the local governments in the State Joint Local Government Account and has continued to withhold the statutory allocation due to the 23 local government councils of Rivers State since the month of April 2024 till date for no just cause.”

    He also accused Fubara of holding meeting with top personnel of the LGA where he directed them to go and compile for presentation to him, of the salary vouchers and overheads of civil servants, excluding the chairmen, vice chairmen, councillors and other political office holders.

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