The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kwara State chapter, has condemned Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for secretly appointing caretaker committees for local councils in the State, saying that “such action is unconstitutional, undemocratic, null and void.”
In a statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, the party stated that composition of caretaker committees for the councils by Governor Abdulrazaq contravenes the provision of the constitution and a blatant disregard of Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
The Kwara PDP, therefore, demanded that Governor Abdulrazaq should reverse the appointment of the committees and immediately commence process to conduct local government elections in the State, insisting that caretaker committees are non-existent in the eyes of the law.
The statement reads in part: “Our party strongly condemns the appointment of local council caretaker committees by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, in flagrant violation of the provision of the nation’s constitution.
As ruled by the Supreme Court, composition of caretaker committees by State governors is unconstitutional, undemocratic, null and void.
“It will also be recalled that the Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had in a letter, implored state governments to comply with the provisions of the Constitution with regard to the administration of local governments in line with the judgement of the Supreme Court. The AGF notified state governments of the illegality of running caretaker committees in place of elected officials at the local governments.
“It is however appalling and unfortunate that despite knowing the position of the law regarding the administration of local government councils, Governor Abdulrazaq still carried on with impunity by appointing caretaker committees for the councils, which he did secretly, in fear of public criticism that will greet the illegal action.
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“Our party rejects this attempt to subvert democratic order by the Governor who is reputed for disregarding rule of law and due process. Consequently, we demand that Abdulrazaq should reverse the appointment of the caretaker committees and immediately commence process to conduct local government elections, as caretaker committees are non-existent in the eyes of the law.
“As we noted in our previous statement on this matter, local governments are the closest to the people and are pivotal to guaranteeing effective governance and even development in any State. It is therefore important that the councils are run by persons with proven capacity, competence, integrity and are trusted by the people to do the job. The councils must not be left in the hands of charlatans that will only be subjected to the whims and caprice of the Governor.
“We understand that Governor Abdulrazaq is afraid of conducting LG elections because he is afraid of the failure that awaits his party at the polls, knowing full well that his government has become very unpopular, having performed poorly and far below Kwarans’ expectations. If this isn’t the case, we challenge him to conduct council elections in earnest.”
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