Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and about five non-governmental organisations have taken a swipe at the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration for non-conduct of local government election in the state.
The groups, in a separate interviews in Calabar, decried the undemocratic behaviour of the ruling PDP which is averse to putting a democratic structure at the grassroots.
They wondered why Governor Ben Ayade, who prides himself as a democrat, finds it difficult to conduct local government election since he came on board in 2015, but commended the Federal Government agency, the Nigeria Financial Intellogence Unit (NFIU), for its intervention in local government funds.
APC Chairman, John Ochala, said it was unimaginable that governror Ayade could not conduct council election but rather rationalised that the councils are not buoyant enough to sustain themselves.
Ochala said APC is committed to enthroning democratic culture at the local level and giving the people the freedom to choose who leads them.
He said: “The withholding of local govt funds is a welcome development. It is what our party have been canvassing all along. It is the only way the state governors will be compelled to conduct local government elections.
“It is unfortunate that the country has degenerated to the level where governors will display so much contempt for the system that brought them to power.
“Our position is that local government elections should be conducted as soon as practicable. INEC should take charge of the elections, that is the only time we will have some semblance of credible elections,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the NGOs, including Cross River State for Good Governance, Cross River Accountability Forum, Cross River Society Network, Cross River Coalition For Justice and Arise for Local Government Autonomy, Emmauel Abgor, said the PDP administration has disappointed the people as he has refused to conduct local government elections since the last set of elected council chairmen and councillors was conducted by former governor Liyel Imoke.