Elections: Bill to grant LGAs full autonomy passes second reading

A bill that will grant full autonomy to local government areas to elect chairmen, vice-chairmen, and councilors has passed through second reading at the House of Representatives.

Dachung Bagos (PDP,Plateau) sponsored the Bill titled: “A bill for an act to alter section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and for related matters”.

Leading debate during Plenary on Tuesday, Bagos said the proposed legislation was to strengthen democracy at the local government level through a law that will provide guidelines for periodic elections.

“Essentially, this bill seeks to provide for election and tenure of office for local government chairmen/councilors and also prescribe mode of exercising legislative powers of the local government council”, he stated.

According to him, the bill “seeks to alter section 7 (1) of the principal act by substituting section 7 (1) with new section 7 (1) (a) –(2) to provide for the office of the chairman and vice chairman of local government as stipulated in the bill.”

He said other provisions included, “qualification and disqualification of chairman, declaration of assets and liabilities, oath of office and election of chairman.”

Others are; nomination and election of vice chairman, removal of chairman or vice-chairman from office, tenure of office of chairman and election of councilors.

The lawmaker noted that the current provisions in the constitution were susceptible to abuse as they have not provided any guideline regarding elections of leaders at the lower level of government.

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