Anambra 2024 budget : Rights group frowns at exclusion of LG election fund, demands LG election

Anambra 2024 budget : Rights group frowns at exclusion of LG election fund, demands LG election

By Chinwe Nwacha, Onitsha

A human rights group, Human Dignity Restoration Association, HDRA, Monday, frowned at the exclusion of Local Government fund in the 2024 budget by Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, for the conduct of Local Government Area, LGA, election next year.

Speaking through its National President, comrade Rev. Jude Achebe, HDRA faulted the governor's plans towards the ₦410 billion presented to members of the Anambra State House of Assembly arguing that there is a clear indication that the governor is not prepared to conduct LGA election as promised during his electioneering campaign era.

"Take for example, according to the member representing Awka South Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Henry Mbachu, "page 475 of the budget,  the budget for the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission for this current year was N89,120,000, while the projected estimate for the incoming year is N129,120,000.

“You find out that there’s no feasibility or readiness for local government elections for the upcoming year."

"However, local government as the third tier of government is an act of establishment. Section 7(1) 1999 Constitution as amended, The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

"It shall be the duty of a local government council within the State to participate in economic planning and development of the area referred to in subsection (2) of this section and to this end an economic planning board shall be established by a Law enacted by the House of Assembly of the State.

"Fourth schedule of Federal Republic of Nigeria constitution 1999 as amended outlines the functions of LGA. Therefore, it is clear that the state government is denying citizens their right to local government dividends by not conducting local government elections that would enhance grassroots development.

"The state government should suffix LGA election budget and immediately reconstitute the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) by forwarding names of members to the State House of Assembly for approval and empower the commission to organize elections,” he demanded.

The President, who spoke through his Director on Media, comrade Remigus Nnaemeka Amadi, added that, “The appropriation of local government funds by the state government must henceforth stop. Local government funds from the Federation account should only be received by elected chairmen and not the aberration called transition chairmen, " he maintained.

He urged Governor Soludo to change the narrative of not conducting local government election in the State and ascribe it in the State political chronicles.

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