By Kingsley Madaki
Stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, have warned against moves by the outgoing Area Council Chairmen to extend their tenure in office.
In a separate interview with the member representing AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency, Hon. Micah Jiba and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stalwart in FCT, Hon Emmanuel Inyang, in Abuja, urged the council chairmen to tow the path of honour and not try to overextend their stay in office beyond May 20.
“First and foremost, I want to inform the media that there has been a development that is very ugly and it is important, we let the public know what is going on.
“Normally, the three years tenure of the present government is expected to end on the May 20, 2022. We are expecting that on May 20, the new government that was elected recently would be sworn in.”
He disclosed that there are moves to extend their tenure through court injunction.
“There is an ugly development, which is important and necessary for the media and the Nigerian public to be aware. While we’re all preparing for the next swearing in of the chairman and other councillors elected, we discovered through a jubilation that took place some few days back at Abuja Municipal Area Council on the issue that has to do with tenure elongation. We got to know that the present Vice Chairman of AMAC, Hon. Lawrence filed a suite at the Federal High Court challenging and asking that based on the new Electoral Act, signed into law by the President, to extend the tenure of Area council from three years to four years.
“It’s worthy of note that the present Vice-Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council Hon. Lawrence is asking the court that pronouncement be made that their tenure should also be extended by one year to make it four years.
“Now, the question is on what oath of office were they sworn into? Which of the Electoral Act were they elected on? It is important for us to know that they were elected on the Electoral act of 2010.
“The electoral act that increased the number of tenure for Area council from three to fourr years as you are all aware, is the 2022 Electoral Act. So, it is best even for those of us who are laymen who are not lawyers, can see it at that framework. It is very unfortunate and unacceptable to any Nigerian. Nigeria cannot be treated as a Banana Republic, where anybody can just turn up and feel that whatsoever that will happen must be to his interest and to his favour.”
On his part, the member representing AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency, Hon. Micah Jiba, stressed that it’s the new administration that stand to benefit from the additional one year.
“We have been trying to educate some of our brothers and sisters that the Nigerian law is not going backward, it only goes forward. If you remember vividly, 2010 Electoral acts is what was used to conduct the general election and the certificate of return issued to spend just three years in the office and not four years.
“So, the Electoral Act for the extension of additional one year for the FCT Area Council is not for this outgoing administration, by the especially a grace of God.
“We need to understand that it is not for this particular administration and I want to say that the INEC as an independent body is well informed. Assuming that they know that this outgoing administration, will benefit from this additional one year, I want to tell you that they would not have conducted the last concluded elections of the Area Council in the FCT.
“In the contrary, they conducted an election in the FCT and certificate of return issued to them.”