Concerns as Kwara Govt prepares for first LG elections since 2019

The Kwara State Government is preparing for the first local government elections in the state since 2019.

The previous council chairmen elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were sacked by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2019, when the party took over the reigns of leadership in the state.

The development led to a court action instituted by the aggrieved PDP council chairmen who felt they were yet to complete their tenure.

The sacked chairmen were replaced with Transition Implementation Committees (TIC) headed by chairmen in the 16 local councils of the state.

However, there has been no local government elections since then even as the Supreme Court declared constitution of transition committees as illegal.

The ruling party in the state, last year constituted a new state Independent Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections with the people still waiting for the exercise.

DAILY POST recalls that the Chairman of the Commission, Malam Muhammed Baba Okanla, travelled round the state to inspect and assess the condition of the offices with a declaration that they were not in good shape.

However, in a chat with DAILY POST in his office in Ilorin on Thursday, Okanla disclosed that preparations were in top gear for the conduct of elections, possibly this year, as training and retreat had been held by the Commission.

He said after the tour of the 16 local government offices by the Commission last year, the management brainstormed on the necessary logistics required for the conduct of a fair, acceptable, free and peaceful electoral process.

Okanla said aside collaborating with security agencies on the election, he had visited Ekiti to get first hand information on its just concluded local council election, while he will be in Borno to monitor local government election billed to hold in the state on January 20, 2024.

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Reacting to the development, the main opposition party in the state, PDP, through the spokesman, Olusegun Olushola Adewara, said, “Our party is worried, just like all well-meaning Kwarans, about the continued encroachment and usurpation of local government administration by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

“This is the first time in Kwara history, if not in Nigeria, that a government will use TIC to run local government administration for more than four years uninterrupted. This is very sad and unimaginably wicked.

“The court has spoken in clear terms against him, the people have raised eyebrows, civil societies have raised concerns and even dragged him to court. The governor is appealing obvious cases which have been determined by the Supreme Court over and over. What does that tell us?”

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