Katsina lawmaker faults Shema on LG caretaker committee, describes it illegal
From ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE, Kaduna
Thursday February 23, 2012

Member of the Katsina State House of Assembly, representing Kurfi constituency, Danlami Kurfi has described the appointment of Caretaker Committees to take charge of local government councils by Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State as illegal.

Business24

Speaking in a chat with newsmen in Kaduna yesterday, Kurfi stated that, Governor Shema had turned deaf ears to the call for democratically elected chairmen and councillors in the respective local government councils of the state.

“The continuing existence of non-democratic structures in these local governments are unconstitutional, hence they all constitute product of illegality.”

He lamented that the activities of the local governments in Katsina State were at a stand still, adding that nothing is going on in the local governments because there are no elected leaders to man the affairs of the councils.

“While the local government funds were kept in the banks, people are suffering in the rural areas. Therefore, it is better for us to elect local government chairmen so that they can handle the affairs of the councils adequately.

“The Constitution guaranteed their existence in Section 7(1) which provides that, the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

“But reverse is the case here. The activities of our local government are regrettably at a stand still because there were no elected leaders to man their affairs. While the Directors of Administration and Finance (DAF) who are appointed under caretaker committees cannot award contracts of N100, 000 at present due to lack of release of funds and lack of elected executives.

“The situation got bad that I had to use my resources to settle contractors who were contracted to supply laterite for the construction of rural roads in my local government, because, the caretaker chairman’s fund could not support the job and my people are faced with hardship of lack of access roads in the villages”, he stressed.

The Katsina lawmaker further argued that, the provision of section 80 (a) of Katsina Sate Local Government Laws –Gazette, “on completion of the tenure of local government councils or it has been impracticable to conduct such elections, the governor may present to the House, twelve (12) persons for screening by the House before being appointed by the governor to serve in the caretaker committee to man the affair as of the councils for a period not exceeding three (3) months.”

Kurfi therefore called on the governor to redress the anomalies by ensuring the conduct of local government council elections in line with the constitutional dictates and to enable the third tier of government carry out its constitutional duties judiciously for the socio-economic development of the rural areas.

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