Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
Baring last minute changes, the Kogi Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello is set to appoint 63 Liason officers that will manage the affairs of the 21 local government areas of the State before elections into the councils are conducted.
Under the arrangement, it was reliably gathered that each of the 21 councils will have three Senior Special Assistants that will run the affairs of the councils.
It was gathered that the proposal has driven many politicians and other interested persons to intensify lobbying for inclusion in the arrangement.
According to source, each of the councils will have Senior Special Assistant 1 who will serve as Chairman, Senior Special Assistant 2 who will serve as Vice Chairman while Senior Special Assistant 3 will serve as Secretary of the local government council.
According to the source, ”The governor is not dispose to the appointment of Director of local governments, DLGs in various councils as he plan to conduct councils election.
“Those he will appoint specially SSA1 will definitely be the party candidate during the local government councils election.
“The fear of the governor is that some of the DLGs are very close to members of the opposition parties in the state. If the governor decide to use the DLGs for the local government council election, APC may find it difficult to win all the councils.
“But with SSAs at the helm of affairs at various councils they will make sure APC win the elections. “Names of those to be appointed has been compiled by leaders from various councils and any moment from now the governor will announce their names,” the source said.
It was further gathered that local government councils election may now hold by early May.
Governor Bello is expected to swear-in Mamman Nda Eri as the new Chairman of Kogi State Independent National Electoral Commission (SIEC) and other members of the Commission this week at Lugard House Lokoja.
Meanwhile the State government has dismissed reports that it is planning to appoint Liaison Officers or Caretaker Committees to manage Affairs of the Local Government Councils in the State.
In a press statement, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo debunked the rumours and assured that the Governor would not another caretaker committee before the election. His words, “By the constitution of the State Independent Electoral Commission, the State Government has demonstrated readiness to conduct election in order to enable the people determine their representatives at the third tier of Government.
“We urge the people of our dear State to believe in the resolve of the State Government not to subscribe to any unconstitutional structure at the Local Government level as the Governor is committed to conducting a free, fair and credible Local Government election as soon as legally practicable. Whatever will be done between now and the conduct of the election will be constitutiona”.
Recall that Alhaji Yahya Bello last week Tuesday dissolved the 21 local government council administration.
In a letter, the Secretary to Kogi State Government, Dr. Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade said, “following the Constitution of Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and the expiration of the tenure of the administrators, the governor Alhaji Yahya Bello has approved the dissolution of the administrative team.