Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Wednesday blamed paucity of funds and insecurity for the failure of his administration to conduct local government election this year.
This is coming as the state house of assembly extended the tenure of the council bosses by another six months to lapse in April 2018.
The governor, in a letter to the house seeking the extension of the tenure of the council bosses, said the administration could not conduct local government election as envisaged in 2017 budget.
The governor said the dwindling resources of the state could not enable the government to meet many of her obligations, including the conduct of the local government election.
The assembly had approved N450 million for the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) to enable it to conduct election into the 21 local government areas in the state.
At the resumed sitting of the assembly, the member representing Okehi state constituency, Hon Kekere Sanni, said the reasons advanced by the executive were enough to grant the request as the state has adopted the principle of necessity.
However, Hon John Abah, from Ibaji state constituency, noted that N450million was approved for the conduct of local government election in 2017 budget, wondering why the executive failed to adopt the resolution of the house when it first extended the administrators tenure.
He called on the House to at all times promote, protect and fight for democracy since there is no substitution.
He advised the House that the six months extension should mean that within the six months, elections should be conducted and democratically elected council chairmen put in place to avoid the constitutional lapses.
Abah said, “Provision was made in the 2017 budget, but the issues raised by the executive is crucial. My main concern is not just extending their tenure, because either we like it or not caretaker committees is an illegality.
“The supreme court has confirmed it. It is appalling that majority of the state in Nigeria are operating under caretaker committees which is illegal, uncalled for and should be condemned.
“We want to make it known to the executive, if this is granted we can no longer continue in illegality. No more extension, the election should be conducted within the period.
The member representing Bassa state constituency, Sunday Shigaba, said that the House gave the approval to the SIEC to properly prepare for the council election.
The member said, “What is happening in the House is between law and reality. Interim government or whatever we call it is illegal. It has become practically impossible for the state government to conduct the election as at when due. Whether we like it or not, we can’t compel the executive to conduct election before the close of the year given the time frame that is available to us”.