Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As the proposal by the out-going Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, to conduct a fresh Local Government election has continued to general ripples, Abia State Elders Forum, has advised the Governor to perish the thought.
According to the elders, it is suspicious for an outgoing government to hurriedly conduct council poll 10 days to the expiration of its tenure.
The Elders’ forum in a press statement jointly signed by its National President,
His Grace, Archbishop Professor Princewill Ariwodor; and National Secretary, the Rev. Dr Joseph Adiele, advised Ikpeazu to allow the incoming administration to conduct the new council election due to time constraint.
The forum, commended Gov Ikpeazu for conducting council polls twice since he assumed office but advised him to drop the current contemplation.
It said that any hurried council poll could set the winners at collision course with the incoming administration.
“Going by available records, the new Administration will disband those you have elected as Councilors which will spur acrimony and face-off with State Government, leading to lawsuits that will polarise the state and deny peace and stability.”
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “You are a true democrat having conducted two Local Government elections during your tenures. It is an eloquent testimony of your democracy spirit, but conducting another Local Government election in 10 days to your handover is not only laying landmines against Dr. Otti’s incoming administration, but can be viewed as counter-productive, suspicious, and mischievous.
“Abia State Elders are not in support of the Local Government elections planned for May 19, 2023, the twilight of your out-going Administration. This is because it is ill-advised, ill-timed and smacks of bad faith to say the least; a waste of the scare resources Abia State is grappling with.
“Such a move, if encouraged or supported will earn more debts and liabilities to the in-coming administration when salaries, gratuities and pensions are owed up to 40 months!”