Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Anambra State branch has expressed worry over the inability of the Anambra state government to conduct Local Government elections in the state.
It regretted that non-conduct of the poll was not only unconstitutional and a denial of democracy at grassroots, but also breed corruption, lack of accountability, and good governance.
In a statement endorsed by the chairman, Vincent Ezekwueme, and Secretary, Chidi Mba, the group appealled to Governor Willie Obiano to commence processes towards conduct of free, fair, and credible local government election.
It recalled that the last election was conducted in 2014, which it noted was the only time such exercise held in the state since the inception of the present democratic dispensation on May 29th 1999.
The group also called on the governor to reconstitute the State Independent Electoral Commission in tandem with the constitution, electoral act and landmark Supreme Court judgement that rightly asserted that Local Government officials must be govern by elected officials.
The statement partly read, “It is incredible but existential reality that Anambra State is the only state in the federation that has conducted election once in 11th January 2014 by former governor Peter Obi administration since the inception of current democratic dispensation on May 29, 1999.
“Significantly in more than 21 years of our democratic experience Anambra State has conducted election once and CLO since 2016 since the tenure of last elected local government officials elapsed we have been in the vanguard for agitation for conduct of Local Government election in the state in line with our constitution that election must be periodically conducted at the local government level.
“Worthy of note is that transition committee of Caretaker committee is alien to Nigerian constitution and State House Of Assembly should leave no stone unturned to protect, safeguard, and defend local government system.
“They should empower and encourage the governor to conduct local government election and desist from continuous extension of tenures of Transition Committee Members.
“It is of great relevance to note that enthronement of democracy at the grassroots will certainly bring governance nearer to the people, reduce unemployment, encourage political participation, adequate harnessing of natural resources and proper utilisation of comparative advantages at local level.
“Most importantly it has retarded and still retarding development and negates the good intentions of military government of then Gen Olusegun Obasanjo in 1976 for establishing reformed Local Government System in Nigeria.
“Obiano as a beneficiary of democratic process should spare no effort to enthrone democratic governance at the grassroots as greatest democratic dividends to the grassroot in particular and Anambra State in general.
THE EASTERN UPDATES