Disquiet In Bauchi Over Delayed Council Elections
SEVEN years after the last Local Government Elections was held in Bauchi State, expectations have heightened among residents, especially politicians that the present administration would do the needful by ensuring that the council election is conducted within the shortest time.
Since the Malam Isa Yuguda-led administration conducted the last election in 2008, all avenues to compel the governor to move into action failed until the expiration of his second term.
The elected chairmen and councilors in the 20 council areas served for two years from 2008 to 2009. Since then, there has not been any election into the local governments. The councils have been manned by sole administrators and caretaker committee members till date.
Though the former governor did not give any genuine reason for his action, but a cross section of political observers in the state are of the view that Yuguda refused to conduct the council elections, out of fear of his party losing.
A political analyst, Mr. Paul Orude who reacted to the issue said the failure on the part of government is a danger to the development of the grassroots. He noted that for a state to ignore the conduct of council elections for seven years, such would have negative effects on the people at the grassroots.
“If you don’t conduct elections at the local level, it means that the people would not enjoy democratic dividends because they were not given a chance to elect who they want to head the affairs of their local governments.”
Orude said the joint account been operated means that all the allocations from the federal government account goes directly into the coffers of the state and that government spends the funds recklessly without any concern for the people at the grassroots.
Said he, “This means development is being hampered at the third tier of government and the people are living in abject poverty. The local government secretariats are becoming moribund, while the pockets of the governors keep swelling.
“Yuguda held the local governments to ransom using local government/State joint account to dictate to them morally, socially and financially.”
Members of opposition parties in the state are unanimously appealing to the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration to ensure that the poll is conducted to assist the people at the grassroots to feel the impact of government.