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Councillors in Niger reject dissolution of LGCs‎

Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State
The Niger chapter of the Forum of Councillors on Wednesday rejected the resolution of the House of Assembly directing Gov. Abubakar Bello to dissolve the 25 Local Government Councils (LGCs).

The lawmakers had premised their action on alleged poor performance and mismanagement of public funds by the councils.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the law makers’ resolution, passed on Monday, followed a report from oversight visits to the 25 local governments by the Committee on Local Government.

But the councillors, who reacted to the resolution, said that the accusations were not true.

“The accusations are not true; the legislators only want to give us a bad name so as to do what they want to do,” the forum’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Bisalla John, told newsmen in Minna‎.

On allegations that legislative councils in the 25 LGCs sat for far less than 90 times in a year as required by law, the councillors said that they were never trained on what was expected of them in that regard.

‎John wondered why the report of the committee was hurriedly prepared to coincide with the end of the two-year tenure of the LGCs which they (councillors) challenged and secured a ruling in their favour.

They called on the House to respect the court verdict by reinstating them and their chairmen to “avoid setting a dangerous precedence”.

In a related development, a youth group – Coalition of Local Government Youths Organisations – has advised members of the Niger House of Assembly to obey the court order setting aside the two-year tenure for LGCs.

A Niger State High Court sitting in New Bussa had directed that Local Government Councils, LGCs, should serve for three years instead of the two years tenure approved for them by the House of Assembly.

The court declared that the assembly lacked the power to reduce the tenure of the LGCs from three to two years.

The law makers have, however, appealed that verdict

Mohammed Saba, leader of the youth group, advised the lawmakers not to set a bad example as violators of Court orders, saying that such attitude would “endanger democratic principles”.

“The 1999 constitution gives the LGCs a three-year tenure which has been affirmed by the court. The lawmakers should obey this simple constitutional provision,” he said.

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