BY: RALPH EJIMKONYE, GREG IWU
Controversy is trailing the planned local government election in Imo State.
There is growing uncertainty if the polls will hold in December as scheduled
An independent inquiry by this newspaper indicate there is nothing on ground politically to show that the election will take place soon
Analysts who spoke at innonews.com.ng Round Table in Owerri, gave varying reasons why the elections may not go on in December.
Credible sources however told this newspaper that the election will come up in the first quarter in 2020.
The State Election umpire, Imo State Independent Electoral Commission, ISIEC, has continued to echo it’s readiness to go on with the election.
The Commission says it has commenced delineation of local governments into wards, and will make use of INEC register for the conduct of the election. This indeed signpost it’s near readiness for the polls.
Uncomfirmed reports say ISIEC is yet to get funded to kick start the process of holding the election, just as it has failed to give a date in December when the polls will hold.
“We are already heading into November, yet no date when the election will take place in December has been announced. An election as serious as the LGA election will take the Commission three good months to prepare.
“This is an indication that the polls will not hold as scheduled” said Chris Okechukwu, one of the analyst who featured on innonews.com.ng Roundtable.
IMC Chairmen Push For Extension?
Reports say the current Interim management committee chairmen, are alleged to be pushing for an extension of their time in office, on the grounds that six months is not enough period to complete several projects they had embarked on in their various local governments.
They were inugurated in July 2019.
Governor Ihedioha had gone round the local governments recently to inspect some of the projects including the construction of 27 stadias and secretariats in the local governments.
Unfolding Drama, Cold war In PDP
The race for the chairmanship seats has set subtle confusion in the ruling PDP with chairmanship aspirants seeking for political “anointing” from godfathers and mothers in the party.
Top government functionaries have also been fingered to be involved in ensuring their preferred choices emerge as Executive Chairmen to run the councils.
This has already set tension amongst party stakeholders in the LGA chapters of the party, in addition to the flying rumour within the party, that the Interim Council Chairmen, were “barred” from taking part in the local government election.
The PDP is yet to react to this rumour just as it has not released modalities and timelines to hold primaries
Analysts on innonews.com.ng Roundtable further contend that a local government election in December “is too early” for the six month old government in the State.
Mr.Ukachukwu Onuoha, a political analyst however said he is in support for the LG election to be postponed.
He said “This government needs to consolidate before going into local government election.
“It needs more stability. The PDP in the State cannot afford an intra party crisis which could fall out after the primary
“Any of sort will affect the government of the day considering how vibrant the opposition is in the State.
“This is why State Governors usually hold Council elections during the end of their tenures in office.
Another analyst, Mr.Uche Egbuofor said there is nothing wrong if the elections take place in December.
“It is part of the democratisation of the local governments which Governor Ihedioha promised the people of the State.
” Since the local governments have full financial autonomy, it is wise the local government election as he had promised go on as planned.
“The full democratisation of the LGAs will further aid the rebuild Imo project of his administration.