LG Polls soon in Ebonyi as Umahi signs electoral bill
Posted by News Express | 22 January 2017 | 1,606 times
The Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, has signed the Ebonyi State Electoral and Related Matters Bill into law.
While signing the Bill at the Government House in Abakaliki, Umahi explained that the new law which came into force by 1.40 pm on the 20th of January 2017, was necessary following the nullification of the old law of queuing behind candidates at the Federal High Court and the withdrawal of the appeal filed against the ruling.
Umahi said: “You will recall that the last administration had Local Government election and the elected persons were functioning until somebody took the outcome to court.
The court ruled that the law was improper. I think it was an open ballot system. The House of Assembly then appealed the ruling but the Executive accepted it and dissolved the councils. The House however, appealed and there is no way you can do another Local Government election if that matter is still pending in the court of appeal.”
The Governor pointed out that the new law would enthrone full democracy in the LGAs as representatives in party primaries would be the wish of the people.
The Governor, in a statement on Friday by his spokesman, Emma Anya, also stated that the law had empowered the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) to commence the process of conducting Local Government elections.
“With this new law, the ball is now with EBSIEC to blow the whistle for the political parties to start political activities in our Local Governments and the thinking of party leadership is that we teach the world, example of what democracy is, by making sure that our party primaries are based on the people.”
While Umahi mentioned the Speaker and the National Vice Chairman of PDP as observers of the primaries, he encouraged them to convene stakeholders meeting in each Local Government to ensure that only aspirants capable of winning would be chosen to stand for the chairmanship and councillorship elections.
His words: “Whoever the people want should be the person that will go for us. I believe that the party leadership, especially Working Committee members and I say Speaker and the National Vice Chairman should become observers.
“They should convene meetings of stakeholders of Local Governments to hear about the situation on the ground and the wishes of the people as regards the chairmanship and then the councillorship aspirants.
“It is important to know that whoever is coming on board will be somebody who will be able to win election.”
Engr. Umahi also announced that the Bills on contributory pension scheme as well as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NIHS) would be sent to the House of Assembly for passage into law.
He emphasised that the circular for the implementation of the latter would not be effective until February when the bill would have been passed.
He directed the Deputy Governor, Eric Kelechi Igwe, to constitute a committee to monitor constituency projects to ensure that jobs were executed according to specifications.
Umahi said: “A lot of our projects are not being watered and we don’t want to hide any sickness. When you’re in your official functions and you catch such contractors, you can sack them on site. “And when you find anybody using hand to mix concrete you send the person to sanction the person.”