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ISSUES ABATTOIR: CTC Chairmen Mar Governor’s Efforts

WIKEMar is simply an act of spoiling or damaging, while effort means the amount of work involved in performing an activity; exertion or simply an endeavour. That is the definition of the American English Dictionary.

Governor is the leader of a region or state that is a member of a federation or an empire. In Rome, they were endorsed by the emperor and appointing by the senate. In the modern United States, Nigeria, South Africa, as well as other countries of the world, they are elected by the people of respective states usually referred to as electorates to administer the affairs of such state.

The chairman, aside from being the head of corporate organizations is also an elected or appointed man to coordinate or preside over the affairs of an area carved out for administrative convenience, usually called local government area, mainly catering for the grassroots by bringing governance closer to the people. It is democratically and generally known as the third-tier of government and it is subjected under the governor of a state.

At the local government area the processes of electing or appointing chairmen are being regulated by the respective Houses of Assembly of a state in accordance with the 1999 Nigeria constitution as amended in section 7. In Rivers State, where local government elections could not be immediately conducted, the local government bye-laws as enacted by the state House of Assembly provided for the appointment of caretaker committee, comprising of not les than seven (7) persons including a chairman.

Therefore, in Rivers State as well as other states, the caretaker administration with specified period or tenure is an act of the House of Assembly, for the essence of providing services to the people at the grassroots, pending the election of an elected and substantive chairman.

The present administration in the state is about 15 months into the second year of governance haven been sworn-in on May 29th, 2015. a scenario was played before the swearing-in of His Excellency, chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. Then outgoing administration of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, hurriedly conducted a purported local government election May 16th, 2015 where none of the over twenty (2) political parties in the state contested and sworn-in their APC supposed elected chairmen about 18th May, 2015 into office days before the official take over of mantle of leadership of the incumbent government of Governor Wike on Friday, 29th May, 2015.

The notification for that purported election was an aberration with the electoral Act, guideline and laws, not meeting 90 days for the parties to prepare. On that strength amongst others the Peoples Democratic Party as well as other political parties approached the High Court seeking nullification of such election conducted outside the electoral laws of the nation.

On Tuesday July 7th, 2015, the High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in their wisdom delivered the judgment in favour of the complainant – PDP and other political parties by nullifying the said kangaroo election and releaved the so –called chairmen and councilors of their supposed duties.

Nature, even political offices allows no vacuum, hence the executive governor in his wisdom in consonance with the laws nominated 22 caretaker chairmen exception of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA where the tenure was yet to elapsed then, for screening by the House of Assembly.

Those nominated chairmen after clearance by then Assembly led by Rt. Hon. Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani were later sworn-in to control the affairs of the local government councils in the state.

Since then till date, two sets of caretaker chairmen for 15 months have taken charge of the Rivers Councils. A tenure of each set of the CTC administration last for 3 months and 6 month of two terms but could only be dissolved on the discretion of the governor according to the local government laws as amended by the state House of Assembly during the governorship of Rotimi Amaechi.

Without gainsaying, these CTC administration have impacted both negatively and positively in some areas, but while their excesses over shadow their necessity, the results become alarming, hence the essence of this episode of Issues Abattoir, to call on the governor for a more proactive steps to checkmate CTC chairmen over insensitivity, recklessness and maladministration at the grassroots.

Issues Abattoir has severally in its episodes especially Vol. 7, No. 19 of May 19-25, 2016 titled, “New Caretakers, New challenges” and Vol. 7, No. 24 of June 23-29, 2016 captioned “New Caretakers, New Challenges II amongst other advocated for thorough screening before anyone could be sworn-in as Chairman Caretaker Committee for any LGA in Rivers State.

The call was necessitated because of the poverty level in the state, where majority of citizens struggles before they have two time meal.

Activities of chairmen at the local government councils are not encouraging at all. It is such that deters electorates from going to cast their votes as anyone at the helm of affairs at the LGA’s would want to survive alone, while the electorates and party supporters become beggars. In some LGA’s party faithfuls are always abused, thrown out of their gates. In other LGA’s, the chairmen would either be telling electorates that the governor said they should pay only salaries, no monies or no allocations. So many lies have been told by chairmen only to enable them deceive and scare the people away from benefiting anything in their tenure.

In a particular LGA within the riverine area of the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, the chairman was nicknamed “No Money” “Allocation is poor” etc. These and several other excuses are the legacies of the many chairmen who have served their two tenures and some of the incumbents. They are not irritated if members of their party and electorates exists or not, in fact to them they worked alone and it is their turn to eat.

Civil servants are not left out in the prances and ungodly behaviour of these chairmen as the welfare of workers does not amount to anything serious to them. Would you mention even appointees of the chairmen who labour and beg food to eat at the end of the month, their calls are considered threats to the chairmen.

Though it is difficult to enumerate the sins of these chairmen, but the underlining meaning is that most of these appointed chairmen to oversee the affairs of the LGA’s are inexperienced leaders, egocentrics, apolitical and deliberately decided to damage the efforts of the working governor, alongside the opposition party.

There is virtually no local government that stakeholders of the ruling party do not complain against the attitude of their CTC chairmen. Some chairman after pleading with the stakeholders to nominate them, the next action of such chairmen is to turn their back against them. The situation is alarming in Rivers State, and it simply means the CTC chairmen are out to tarnish the good image of not only the governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as well as the ruling party in the state, PDP but discourage electorates from subsequent voting for the party.

Greed of these chairmen is one too many and the party leaders at the various wards and units are at the receiving end of the atrocities of the CTC chairmen.

While it is obvious that they (the CTC chairmen cannot reach out to all, the question is, can they point their fingers to the least ten (10) persons they have carried along in the scheme of things and of what category and magnitude?

The hard earned reputation of Governor Nyesom Wike, and the PDP in Rivers State may suffer untold damages in the state if the serving chairmen and those yet to come are not seriously cautioned against greed, selfishness, deceit and insensitivity.

Inexperience and ineffective party men screened to administer the local governments are the problems of the systems even as witnessed at the central government. Most of the CTC chairmen have not worked in any public establishment, therefore having the political opportunity to head a local council becomes an opportunity to be abused and administering them as their private family affairs where their wives lack any contributions or little to offer.

Issues Abattoir posit that these chairmen and the incoming should be properly checked and cautioned before administering with the oath of office.

And for those who perform below expectations should be sacked immediately to serve as a deterrent for others, because a situation where the citizenry and voters suffer in the midst of plenty under somebody called “chairman” is precarious and need to be urgently salvaged. The time to salvage the local government from total collapse devoid of accomplishing its purposes of establishment is now. #


With James Mgboineme


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