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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Benue LGA Chairmen Challenge Suspension

Benue State Local Government Chairmen have challenged their suspension by the Benue State House of Assembly, insisting that their tenure ends 2024.

The State Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria Michael Uba told newsmen in Makurdi that they would neither recognize nor comply with the instruction.

Benue State House of Assembly had on June 21 suspended the Council Chairmen which was eventually approved by the state governor, Hyancith Alia.

The chairmen have insisted that their tenure expires in June 2024 and they won’t be vacating their offices. 

In an early morning visit to Makurdi LG Secretariat, WikkiTime observed that activities at the secretariat were going smoothly, with staff seen on premises.

Although the council chairperson, Torbunde Kusange, was not in the office during the time of our visit.

Some staff members of the LG who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated that they were still awaiting the arrival of the chairman to get a directive on what next to do in regards to the handing over.

“On Friday, we saw the letter circulated that the governor has approved the suspension of the local government chairmen. Today is Monday, and we have arrived at the office. We are still waiting for the arrival of the chairman to get directives on what to do for me. The handover isn’t really a challenge for me. I’m doing my work,” a staffer at the secretariat told our reporter.

Another staffer who also spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of sanctions explained that the suspension of LG executives is not new, revealing that it has happened during the time of Samuel Ortom.

He, however, urged the chairmen to respect the directive 

“The suspension of LG chairmen has happened before in this state, and we only hope that the investigations by the committee are carried out as soon as possible. For me, my office is running smoothly, and no matter who runs the office, I will remain loyal, but I advise the chairman to adhere to the governor’s directive,” he said.

Rev Fr Dr Hyacinth Iormem Alia had on Wednesday, June 14, held a meeting with the chairmen at the State Government House.

Speaking during the meeting, Governor Alia commended the chairmen for the services they have been rendering to their councils and advised them to get more serious for better results. 

He also charged them with ensuring transparency in their various local governments.

On their part, they reported the activities that had taken place in their jurisdictions during the previous three months for evaluation.

On June 23, Ode Ochelle, the permanent secretary of the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, in a letter to the chairmen directed them and their councils to vacate their seats with immediate effect.

The letter further ordered all chairmen to turn over all government property in their care to the relevant directors of general service and administration and legislative council clerks.

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