Indications are rife that the much awaited local government election in Imo State may hold in June this year. There has been no official confirmation of this report by any State Government official.
No Local Government election has taken place since the inception of the Rochas Okorocha administration in 2011.
Last year at the Imo State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Owerri, Governor Okorocha promised to hold the polls in October 2017. The polls never held.
Many Imolites had called for the democratization of the local governments to encourage grassroot participation in governance.
This newspaper observed that it has been the style of of successive administrations in Imo State to conduct the local government election at the tail end of the life of such administrations. Aside the Achike Udenwa administration that held LGA polls in its early life, the Ikedi Ohakim administration conducted LGA polls in August 7, 2010, barely few months to the exit of that administration in 2011.
Analysts say LGA polls are delayed towards the general elections to serve ” election purposes” for the government in power to either remain in office or install a sucessor. This however is not applicable to Imo State alone.
However, an elder statesman and concerned citizen in the State, Chief Raymond Onuoha in an open letter to the Governor and published by the traditional and social media called on the Governor to hold the polls.
He wrote “The non democratization of the local governments in the State is the height of disregard for the yearning of the people. It is stunning that after six years you have been in office, the local governments remain in a state of quandary with no elected local authorities to manage the anxieties and frustrations of the people at the grassroots”.