Lagos Dismisses 57 Executive Secretaries of Local Councils

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Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government yesterday asked the Executive Secretaries of the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state quit office immediately.

The state government said it took the decision as part of preparation to conduct local government elections in the 57 local councils and ensure that the necessary machineries were put in place for the elections.

The decision was contained in statement the Secretary to the State Government, Mr.  issued about four hours after the Lagos State House of Assembly at a plenary asked the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to dissolve the Caretaker Committees in the 57 local councils.

The statement said the governor had directed the executive secretaries “to hand over the reins of administration to the Head of Administration in each of the council areas.”
It added that the dissolution of the caretaker committees “is preparatory to the holding of elections into the 57 council areas by the state government and ensuring that the necessary machineries are put in place preparatory to the elections.”

The state House of Assembly had on April 22 passed into law a bill recommending a four year tenure for elected local government helmsmen instead of the three years tenure that hitherto obtained.

At a plenary yesterday, the assembly the state governor to dissolve the caretaker committees and appoint sole administrators for the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs sequel to a motion moved by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun and seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh.

The assembly said the appointed sole administrators would serve for three months in the 57 council areas before the conduct of council elections in the state, which might hold on or before October 2016.

Sanni-Eshinlokun said a lot of the Executive Secretaries heading Caretaker Committees across the councils had shown interest in contesting for the chairmanship of the local councils in the forthcoming elections.

He said the decision “has become imperative so that the interested executive secretaries can participate in the primaries of the parties and do their campaigns. If we do not disengage the executive secretaries, their primary duties at the council will be affected with their interests to participate in the council poll.”

Also at the plenary, the assembly confirmed the appointment of the immediate past Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayotunde Philips as the Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).
The governor had nominated Philips for the position in a letter addressed to the Clerk of the assembly, Mr, Sanni Azeez, asking the assembly to confirm Philips as the Chairperson of the LASIEC.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa told Philips that the job would require her to go round the state unlike, when she was just the Chief Judge of the state.

“You will now need to visit all the local governments in the state during the registration for the election and during the election proper. You must be ready to do the job as required so that we could have a free and fair election. We count on you since you were successful during your tenure as the chief judge.”