Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has faulted Governor Hyacinth Alia’s recently constituted caretaker committees for the 23 local government areas without following due process. The party described the action as gross violation of the sanctity of the judiciary.
Its spokesperson, Bemgba Iortyom, in a statement he issued at the weekend, said the attention of the party had been drawn to the growing disdain for due process and rule of law in the running of government, leading to what the PDP described as the appointment of caretaker committees for the councils.
Iortyom said the recent announcement of the caretaker committees to govern the 23 councils was made over the radio and circulated in other media channels without the mandatory enabling law enacted by the Benue State House of Assembly stipulating their form and tenure, neither were the heads of those committees so appointed screened by the legislature as required by law.
He said, “We at the same time urge the governor to redeem his image before the world by reversing this unjust and unlawful action of appointment of the so-called caretaker committees and to respect the rule of law by obeying the numerous court orders which have validated the tenure and mandate of the elected council administration, as the people of Benue State deserve a government that upholds the principles of democracy, accountability, and justice.”
He maintained that this is also against the backdrop that while campaigning for the governorship in the 2023 elections, Governor Alia publicly promised to grant autonomy to the local government, if voted into office, stressing before the electorate that all that will be needed to do that is “the will, political will”.
“Since his assumption of office Governor Alia’s approach towards the running of the affairs of the local government councils has been characterized by contempt for one court order after another, all of them upholding the tenure of the councils duly elected into office before he became governor, and restraining him or any other authority from tampering with the legitimate mandate of those councils which still subsists,” the PDP said.
He recalled that the 23 council chairmen in Benue State were elected on the platform of the PDP at the April 30, 2022 council elections conducted by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) and they were sworn into office on June 29, 2022 for a tenure of two years as enshrined in the Local Government Establishment Law of the state, adding that that tenure expires on June 28, 2024.