Political considerations rather than long term benefits could be responsible for the amendment of a law to conduct the local government election in communities rather than electoral wards in Imo State.
Political analysts who analyzed Last Friday’s approval by the House of Assembly of a request by the Executive to conduct elections in the communities may have awoken fresh insight into the new law.
In a bid to expand and fortify the political support base of the present government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Imo State Governor sent in a bill to hold local elections in the communities targeted at having more Councillors in the State.
In the past, Imo State had 305 electoral wards which produce 305 Councillors though the last time local elections took place in the State was in 2010.
According to Mr. Sebastine Igwe, an Owerri based political analyst, he said the amendment to the law is purely political on the grounds that Governor Okorocha seem to have lost some political grip considering the sudden turn around of political events in his political party- the All Progressive Congress, APC.
“The amendment to the law is a political move. It is part of efforts to fortify the dwindling support base of the Governor at the grassroots ahead of the 2019 general elections
“If you take a look, we had the Special Development Councils SDC, the Community Government Council, CGC and the General Liaison Officers GLO all of them constituted by the State government. Most of them were working for the State Governor at the grassroots. After some time, they all became moribund due to little or no funding. Besides they are ineffective and not backed by law
“Some of the communities which will produce Councillors have no electoral units. This is worrisome and this tells you that members of the House hurriedly passed the bill without taking into consideration such important and key factor” Igwe said
It would be recalled that after a hectic debate during plenary session and at the committee of the whole House last Thursday, members of the Imo State House of Assembly passed the amendment bill into law.
Member representing Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Ken Agbim (PDP) strongly opposed the bill. He was countered by the Majority Leader, Hon. Lugard Osuji and Hon Ikechukwu Amuka who noted that he had lost his opportunity to kick against the bill during plenary session.