Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, has dumped three local government chairmen who have the Peoples Democratic Party ticket to run for the council election slated for August 15, 2020.
This became glaring when the governor appointed the three council chairmen, namely, Ogbonnia Oko Enyim (Afikpo North), Ogbonnaya Chukwu Ude (Ivo), and John Nnabu (Ikwo), as his Special Assistants just 30days to the local government election.
While those who were given appointments immediately the council chairmen were dissolved following the expiration of their tenure in May, like the Ohaozara council chairman, Mrs. Chinyere Iyioku, Ebonyi local government chairman, Mrs Chinyere Nwaogbaga among others, have been asked to resign and handover to the next in command in other to contest for the election.
The affected council chairmen are wallowing in complete confusion following the development and their political godfathers seem to be at crossroads since they may not save the situation.
Political experts who reacted to the incident maintained that the action of the governor was an infringement to their rights, adding that if the LG chairmen could man up and seek redress in court, that their tickets would be given back to them since they stood for the primaries and won the party chairmanship ticket in their respective local governments.
“How will you come at the middle of the road and ask someone who was duly elected during the primaries and had party ticket to his name to step aside and give someone else the ticket? That is infringement.
“If the governor wanted to play acceptable politics, he could have simply directed Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, to conduct fresh primaries on the premise that the chairmen had held the party’s ticket for more than 3months without an election being conducted according the electoral act provision.
“What does he mean by appointing them SAs? Someone that won local government primaries and on a broad daylight you robbed him of his ticket and appointed him as SA.
“I must tell you that this is not democracy. A situation where a governor now selects the one to rule the people instead of allowing the people to make their choice is absolute authoritarian”, one the of experts retorted.
So many people have been disappointed by the new development this is even as the embattled chairmen were jubilating that EBSIEC has fixed new date for the election and didnt call for fresh primaries.
Little did they know that they would receive the shock of their life 30days to the election.
Recall that Ebonyi state has fixed August 15 for the conduct of local government election amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Chairman of Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, Barrister Jossy Eze, disclosed this in Abakaliki on Wednesday, while briefing political parties stakeholders on the development.
Jossy reiterated that EBSIEC would continue with all the processes already put in place for the election before it was suspended as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Eze noted that the Commission would republish names of all qualified candidates who won the primaries which were conducted early this year.
He said that some states conducted local government election during the lockdown and assured that the election would be conducted in line with COVID 19 protocols.
The EBISEC chairman, noted that the state government had suspended the conduct of local government election following the Ebonyi State Coronavirus and other Dangerous (Infectious) Diseases and Related Matters Law, 2020 and Regulations.
He noted, “On March 16, the parties agreed to have an indefinite suspension of the election because of the pandemic.
“Therefore, having been convinced that we can comfortably conduct our local government election, we invited you today to convey the new development.
“15th day of August 2020, that is the day this Commission will conduct and elect the chairmen and councillors for the local governments. For now, we are urging the political parties to commence their activities and campaigns.
He said that the recruitment, training, and enlightenment of ad-hoc staff who will participate in the poll would all strictly adhere to the Covid-19 rules.
“If your friend wants to apply for ad-hoc work the person must be ready to comply with the Covid-19 rules which include wearing of face mask, and the use of hand sanitizer.
“I have directed my officers in charge to republish names of political party candidates who won the primaries and are qualified to stand for the election.
Some of the stakeholders and representatives of political parties who spoke at the event, reiterated their commitment to abide by the guidelines of EBSIEC.
Recall that Local Government Election in Ebonyi state was scheduled to take place on 25th April, 2020 before it was suspended by Governor Umahi.
But the recent directive from the government for the conduct of the election came after an Enugu based legal practioner , Barr Kelechi Chukwu dragged the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi to court, seeking nullification of his appointment of caretaker Chairmen into the 13 Council areas in the state.
Barr Kelechi in the suit number HAB/90/2030, prayed the court to compel the caretaker chairmen to refund all the allocations received while serving as caretaker, as their appointment was illegal.
The caretaker chairmen for the 13 council areas of the State were appointed on May 29, 2020 by the governor.

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