*Legislative Watch throws weight behind PDP
Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is to challenge the legality or otherwise of the inauguration of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) in the 16 Local Government Councils in Kwara.
Hon Ngozika Ihuoma of the Legislative Watch, a non governmental organisation with special interest in the autonomy of the third tier of government said his organisation will join and support the move of the PDP given the classical judgment of the Supreme Court on the powers of state governments to interfere with the life of local councils.
The former member of the House of Representatives said, “our petition against the decision of the Kwara State government is before the National Assembly. If only by the pronouncements of the Supreme Court and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on this issue, the Kwara government should have treaded with caution.”
Chairman of the party in Kwara, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, made this known on Sunday in a statement issued in Ilorin after the meeting of the critical stakeholders of the party.
“We believe that all forms of illegality committed by the ruling APC, should be challenged in the court of law. When the state administration illegally extended the tenure of Offa local government council, we quickly challenged it in court.
“It was the decision of the government to nominate caretaker administration into the 16 councils of the State that rendered nugatory the action taken,” Oyedepo added.
According to the Chairman, the implementation of the Transition Implementation Committee was illegal, hence the resolve of PDP to challenge it in court.
“The decision of the state government to appoint the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) to be in charge of our local councils is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.
“Legal challenge as an instrument of political resistance in opposition politics was part of what was discussed at the critical stakeholders’ meeting.
“We are armed with plethora of legal authorities that can be used to effectively stop them. Recently, the National Assembly through the Speaker of the House of Representatives also took a stand against the existence of undemocratic structure in the local government administration in Nigeria,” Oyedepo added.
Oyedepo said the party has perfected the legal papers and assembled teams of lawyers to effectively challenge the implementation of the TIC in court.
He therefore appealed to PDP members to be prepared as the state government may decide to hold the local government elections before end of April, 2017.
“The consensus opinion among our party members in the 16 local councils of Kwara State is that we should participate in the exercise. Apart from the possibility of winning some local government councils in that election, our participation will activate our party.
“If the APC tries to manipulate the election, our participation will further expose their hypocrisy on their war against corruption agenda.
“But if we must participate, we should not allow for crisis arising from nominations of chairmen and councillors for the elections,” the chairman added.
He therefore appealed to party members to adopt consensus method in choosing candidates for the elections to eliminate wrangling and crisis among members.
“As much as possible nominations should be by consensus and nobody’s ambition should be strong enough to tear the party apart.
“Even where there is the need for zoning of positions, it should be done to narrow areas of conflicts. We also need to use the best of our materials for the election,” the chairman said.
According to him, featuring candidates for election should be according to the party’s need to win election rather than the perceived high status of some of the members.
“We need credibility of candidates not only to win local government elections but also to sustain the victory in elections that may be fraught with fraud and manipulations.
“Decision of the party should be cardinal on who to feature for elections,” he added.
Oyedepo urged members to practice at the micro level of the local government elections, what they may have to adopt towards the 2019 general elections.
He said PDP will soon embark on Sensitisation, Mobilisation and Organisation (SMO), through some media of mass communication to effectively mobilise the people of the state.
“We shall sensitise the people, then mobilise them and organise the sensitised members of the public. With this, we shall make the people believe and take the ownership of our agenda, Oyedepo added.