Govt’s Reasons for Non-Conduct of LG Polls Not Tenable, Unbelievable – INGRA

A civil society organization, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), has called on Kogi state government to rescind the decision to extend the tenure of current caretaker chairmen of local government councils in the state.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of INGRA, Hamza Aliyu, and made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday, the civil society organization said the reasons advanced by Kogi state government for non-conduct of elections into local government councils are not tenable.

The CSO urged Governor Usman Ododo-led administration to, as a matter of urgency, make arrangement to immediately organize elections into the local government councils.

“The reasons of poor finances for non conduct of elections at the local government level by the State Government is not only not tenable but downright unbelievable.

“The January-April 2024 NET allocation (minus all deductions) to the State and 21 Local Governments, as stated by the Federal Ministry of Finance, stood at over N56.4 Billion Naira (Fifty-Six Billion Naira). This is way more than enough to conduct an form of Local Government Council elections, that would provide citizens the opportunity to decide who governs them at the local level. This is a violation of their Constitutional Right to participate in governance and deprives them the SOLE dividend of DEMOCRACY (Participation).

“It is evident that some other reasons and not finance, could be adduced for this inaction. It would have been unthinkable and definitely bother on Unconstitutionality for The President of Nigeria to not conduct elections after four years at the State level and appoint CARE TAKER GOVERNORS! It means that Governors who are the Primary beneficiaries of elections conducted by the Federal Government, must not deny that same rights to others at the Local Council levels,” the statement read.

INGRA said the conduct of elections into the councils will give citizens, especially youths, the opportunity to practice democracy and strengthen the culture of elections.

The CSO also called on the Kogi State House of Assembly to ensure that democratic principles and structures are protected and guarded, no matter the pressure and circumstances.

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