Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
A nonagenarian, Pa Conleth Omeka, has said he would lead a protest if Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State fails to conduct local government elections within the next two months.
The visually-impaired explained that there was no need for general elections in the state if for seven years, Okorocha had “vehemently refused” to conduct LGA elections.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Omeka, who is the National Coordinator of Nigeria Patriots Pioneers Liberation Movement, said the inability to have democratically elected chairmen and councillors was “spreading hunger and poverty in Imo State.”
He said, “We sincerely call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to take urgent steps to review and amend the section of the constitution that empowers governors to dissolve and run affairs of the councils as their personal empire and to grant the 774 local government areas in the country full autonomy.”
He criticised Okorocha for arbitrarily sacking a duly elected administration in 2011 and for failing since then to conduct LGA election to replace the ousted chairmen and councillors.
According to Omeka, who said that he was part of the 1978 Constitution Drafting Committee, the dissolution of the democratically elected local government councils by the governor and his collaborators was “a deliberate design to replace democratic governance with anarchy and dictatorship in order to continue their perfidious exploitation of the ignorant masses and entire youths of Imo State.”
“We call on all members of the Imo State House of Assembly to live up to expectations as they are a legitimate organ under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to checkmate the excesses of the governor.
“We are advising the Imo State House of Assembly to take urgent and necessary steps to compel the governor to conduct local government election in the state in May or before the middle of June, 2018; failing to do so, the Imo state House of Assembly should, as a matter of urgency, take constitutional legislative measure to impeach the governor.
“I am a 90-year-old blind man and I was a frontline political activist in the First and Second Republics. We were detained during the agitation for the independence of Nigeria. I am pained by what this generation is going through. I shall lead a state-wide protest if the governor fails to conduct LGA elections in May this year,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Okorocha had, during a press briefing last month, promised to conduct council election in June 2018.
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