We Will No Longer Tolerate Caretaker Committees, Akwa Ibom Assembly Tells Governor

Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has urged Governor Udom Emmanuel to conduct local government elections.

The house warned that it would no longer tolerate caretaker committees.

The House said while approving the last extension by six months to the present set of caretaker committees at the councils, yesterday, that since the governor had made some allocations to the Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) in this year’s budget, it would be unconstitutional to continue with the caretaker committees at the expiration of the six-month extension so granted.

Mr. Usoro Akpanusoh of Esit Eket/Ibeno state constituency and chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance said the council elections would be conducted this year having seen a provision in the 2017 appropriation bill for AKISIEC.

Akpanusoh urged the government to put machineries in motion for the speedy conduct of elections.

The current set of caretaker committees in the 31 councils were sworn in last July for a period of six months, but with a proviso for an extension for another six months, which was granted based on the request by the governor.

Akwa Ibom has been operating unelected caretaker or transition committee system at the local government, even before Mr. Emmanuel became governor.

Emmanuel has been lamenting that he could not conduct local government elections due to paucity of funds.

He argued that based on the proposal by AKISIEC, the state would need more than N4 billion to conduct councils polls.

Daily Sun, however, learnt that the state has made a little above N1 billion as appropriation for AKISIEC in the 2017 budget. It was not clear whether it was for the prosecution of council polls or for staff emolument and other expenses of the commission.

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