Politicians’ macabre dance and the rule of law on Imo local government system

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The local government system as the third tier of government was created by the Olusegun Obasanjo military administration back in the days as a means of bringing development closer to the grassroots. Its importance in the overall political process cannot be over emphasized. Whether or not this objective has been secured or is being achieved is an issue for another day. But what have stood out like a sore thumb are the numerous efforts of politicians which have contrived to frustrate the local government system.
For sometimes now, the operation of the local government in Imo have suffered many reverses arising from the recklessness, selfishness and outright mischief and failure to comply with due processes and rule of law by politicians in power. Today even with the so called autonomy granted to the local governments, the politicians are still not allowing things to work what with the arrears of salaries owed the workers.
The recent Court decision sacking the local government Interim Management Council instituted by Governor Hope Uzodinma following the judgement obtained in their favour by the elected council chairmen midwifed by the outgone Governor Rochas Okorocha has put the local government system on the boil again. It was reported that the efforts of the 2018 elected officers to resume office following their court victory were rebuffed as they were reportedly locked out.
It would be recalled that earlier on assumption of office by Governor Emeka Ihedioha, the Council bosses purportedly elected under Okorocha’s government were given the boot. When they challenged it and sought to enforce the verdict obtained they were resisted and it led to the death of a Councillor who was shot by unknown persons at Njaba local government. It left a sour taste and sad tale in the practice of our democracy.
Things actually began to fall apart in 2011 when Okorocha sacked the Council Chairmen he inherited from Governor Ikedi Ohakim. The 2010 (ALGON) people challenged this severally but Okorocha refused to bulge. Karma seemingly is paying back. If they were to throw up their issues now there is bound to be confusion on which judgement to adhere to and that compounds the issues at stake. Gov Uzodinma has given indication to appeal the judgement ousting his IMC men as glimpsed in a recent press release.
What this implies is that the local government system will still continue to run on the caretaker system which has since been pronounced an aberration in our statute books. Edge Express laments that the people who were elected to uplift the people are the same persons who are undermining the processes just for their selfish political ends. We condemn the actions of politicians who are so insensitive to the plight of the people.
So far the major gladiators in this debacle are the two major political parties in the state-the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their supporters. They cannot claim ignorance of the law or the appropriate steps to end the tussle. We must remind that huge financial costs and man hours are expended in these contests whereas as the state is groaning under huge scarcity of resources.
It must note that this state does not belong to the respective parties in power but to all Imolites. The parties are functioning as agents that produce the machinery of government and are not expected to engage in acts capable of undermining the interest of the people governed. We therefore call on the gladiators to sheath their sword and seek a political solution towards resolving the issues once and for all bearing in mind that when two elephants fight it is the grasses that suffer. A stitch in time saves nine.

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