By Mosunmola Ayobami,Ilorin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi SAN to prevail on governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over his planned postponement of local government election.
The party through its State Chairman Rt. Hon. Babatunde Mohammed called on the AGF to immediately use his office to expedite actions and rescue the sixteen local government areas of the state from the shackles of ‘illegal businessmen’ feasting on the LG money since 2019.
Kwara PDP made this call on Monday when the State Chairman addressed newsmen at the party secretariat in Ilorin.
The party noted that the governor’s action denied the grassroots dividends of democracy.
” Kwara PDP rejected the attempt to alter section 20 (1) of the LG law to increase notification of the election date by KWASIEC from the existing ninety (90) days to three hundred and sixty days, adding ” If this bill is passed into law the LG elections will automatically be shifted to the year 2025, two years to the expiration of the second term of this administration”.
The party queried the continued existence of Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) in the sixteen local governments for the past 8years, describing it as illegal and unconstitutional.
The party condemned the replacement of the sacked chairmen with TIC, saying that the action was in flagrant disobedience to court order.
“Our Party considers this a blatant affront to our judiciary and we call on the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, who is also an indigene of Kwara to immediately use his office to expedite actions on this to protect the sanctity of the rule of law and rescue the sixteen local government areas of the state from the shackles of illegal businessmen feasting on local government money since 2019.
“In conclusion, we hereby call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, to halt further disbursement of LG allocation to Kwara state pending when the government will address several issues around it and ensure the ongoing undemocratic bill seeking postponement of LG election to year 2025 is put on hold while council elections are conducted as soon as possible to breath a sense of relief to our people at the grassroots.
“In her usual crafty character, the Kwara state government in a bid to deceive the Kwara public of her readiness to conduct local government elections, announced the composition of the board of the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) with a claim from the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye, that the process for the conduct of local government elections had begun. This action is aimed at dousing the tension and preparing the minds of people for LG elections which Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq does not have the intention of conducting”, said Kwara PDP.
The party said “A careful study of the structure of the board has reflected that the board is filled with APC card-carrying members carefully selected to do the bidding of the Governor and his party, the APC. This was evident in the opening remarks of the board chair, Muhammed Okanla Baba where he was quoted saying he and his team are grateful to and will not disappoint the Governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, who only appointed them as political compensation for their roles in their party.
” The KWASIEC board statement alone has eroded the commission, and its natural integrity, and cast doubt on its political will to deliver free, credible, and fair elections for the state. It is on this basis that Kwara PDP passes a vote of no confidence in the present body of KWASIEC and calls for its immediate dissolution.
“In a tactical bid to waste time and frustrate the litigation process to enable the TIC to continue in office against standing orders of courts, the Kwara State Government in a pretentious manner deceitfully approached the Supreme Court in April 2022, to appeal their Appeal Court loss but has refused to file any brief to allow the Supreme Court pick a date for hearing”, said Kwara PDP.
“We are aware that over one hundred and thirty-five billion (N135bn) revenue has been allocated to all the sixteen local government areas apart from special interventions and the IGR since 2019, it is sad however that despite the huge cash inflow to LGAs, there has not been a manifestation of prosperity and development, neither has the living standard of our people at the grassroots been improved. Instead, the local government and SUBEB workers remain, perpetual victims of unpaid salary backlogs even though payment of the backlogs formed an integral part of the APC’s 2019 deceptive campaign”.
“Our Party demands immediate publication of all federal allocations and other cash inflow to all local government area councils of Kwara state and at the same time utilization of those funds since 2019 including an explanation on the missing N300 million naira exposed by the erstwhile Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ms Aishat Ahman Patigi, before her controversial redeployment and subsequent resignation from the Abdulrahman cabinet” said Kwara PDP.