Emmanuel Ugwuin in Umuahia
After many years of waiting, expectation and postponements it is now certain that the local government election would take place in Abia State within the last quarter of this year.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Bonnie Iwuoha, gave the cheering news yesterday while briefing journalist on the outcome of the state executive council meeting, saying the state Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) has been directed to fix the date for the poll.
Local government polls have taken place in Abia twice in the present democratic dispensation as former governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu conducted council poll once in his eight year tenure while his successor Senator Theodore Orji conducted the last council poll in 2008.
After the expiration of the tenure of the last elected local government chairmen and councilors six years ago, caretaker committees have been appointed to run the affairs of the 17 council areas in Abia.
But the information commissioner said the situation was going to change this time around as the Chairman of ABSIEC, Justice Igbozurike Akomas (rtd), with his team has been directed to put in place the modalities for the conduct of a successful council polls.
“The governor is determined to see that things change for better in Abia State,” he said, adding that “what government has done is to open the window for local government election.”
Iwuoha stated that the ABSIEC chairman was invited to brief the state executive council on the state of readiness of the state electoral body and it was based on the assurance he gave that the decision was taken to go ahead with the council polls.
The information commissioner also said Abia adopted has a policy document on internally generated revenue (IGR), which was produced in line with the federal government’s policy on revenue harmonisation.
He said the policy document produced by the IGR committee headed by the deputy governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, would address all issues relating to revenue collection and resolve once and for all every bottleneck hampering revenue collection.