The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Wednesday, passed a resolution authorising Governor Umo Eno to constitute interim administration in the 31 local government areas of the state.
This came ahead of the expiration of the tenure of the current chairmen on Thursday, December 7.
Gov Eno, in his message with reference number: ‘GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.1/607, addressed to the Speaker, informed the House that there was no provision in the 2023 budget for local government elections, and so there were no funds appropriated for that purpose.
He reminded the legislators that the 2024 budget proposals, which he recently presented before the House, were currently undergoing sectoral defence and breakdown by respective MDA’s before passage, and that the term of office of the incumbent local government chairmen has expired and the councils stand dissolved by virtue of S.5(1) of the Local Government Administration Law, 2017.
He said, “I write to request that the House of Assembly pass a resolution authorising me to constitute interim administration in the local government areas of our state pursuant to s.5(2) of the Local Government (Administration) Law, 2017.”
Governor Eno, hinted that the State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) “has commenced the process leading to the announcement of the date for the election of new Chairmen of Local Government Councils; hence, he’s left with no alternative but to set up interim governance in the local governments pending the conduct of elections as proposed by AKISIEC, and prayed the House to favourably consider his request.
The House formally received the governor’s message following a motion moved by the member representing Eket State Constituency, Hon. Dr. Nsidibe Akata and seconded by the member for Urueofong Oruko, Hon. Precious Selong.
Deputy Leader of the House and Member representing Nsit-Ubium State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Otobong Bob, speaking in support of the message, urged his colleagues to grant the governor’s request. Citing Section 5 sub 2 of the local government administration law, the Nsit-Ubium lawmaker explained that there was an urgent need to prevent a vacuum at the third tier of government, as the tenure of the local government councils would expire by 12:pm on Wednesday.
The House resolution, which is pursuant to Section 5(2) of the Local Government Administration Law, 2017 was passed after the Deputy Leader, Rt Hon Otobong Bob, moved the motion and the Chief Whip, Rt Hon Effiong Johnson, seconded the motion.
Reacting, Speaker Udeme Otong directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Nsikak-Abasi Orok, to communicate the House resolution to the Governor for further action.