Anambra stakeholders urge Soludo to conduct LG poll

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Stakeholders in Anambra State, comprising of civil society groups, leaders of political parties, community leaders, media and women’s groups have called on Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to quickly conduct local government elections in the state.

They made the call during a one day engagement convened by Africa Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), and Strengthening Transparency, Accountability in Governance and Electoral Process (STAGE), in collaboration with civil society groups.

Itia Otabor, Director of Strategy (Centre LSD) who spoke to journalists during the event said: “We are here to urge the governor to conduct of local government election in the state.

“Indication shows that most Anambra people desire the conduct of local government election, instead what we have is a renewal of transition committee for local government leadership every three months. This is against the constitution, so we hope that the governor will do what is needed.

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“There are statutory matters that have to be done to show that there is hope about the conduct of the election. The first is the constitution of the SIEC (State Independent Electoral Commission).

“The local government election is a promise made by the governor and it is now for us to make him accountable to us and we need the support of the media.

“We need to remind him of the things he promised. The governor does not need to come overnight and conduct it. He will first constitute the ANSIEC and he can relieve himself of the headache and send the names of the commission members, and they will begin to function.”

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On his part, the coordinator, of Anambra State Civil Society Network (ASCONET), Mr Chris Azor said the non-conduct of local government elections in Anambra State is costing the state partnership with development partners.

“The world is waiting for Anambra State to hold local government election, and development partners have assured that they are coming in once this is done.

“No matter how you want to embellish it, the caretaker committee is not known to law. Local government system needs to have elected leaders.”

Azor said it is unfortunate that workers in the state’s independent electoral commission were still collecting salaries and doing no work, insisting that it isn’t good governance to pay workers for doing nothing when they can engage the workers towards the conduct of local government election.

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He commended Soludo for the massive work he is doing in Anambra, but insisted that it is the right of the people at the grassroot to have elected representatives in the local government councils.

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