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  • Updated: June 18, 2024

Rivers faces rising tension over expiration of LG councils' tenure

Rivers faces rising tension over expiration of LG councils'

As tensions escalate in Rivers State due to the expiration of the tenure for elected local government councils, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has firmly opposed any extension, emphasising that the Nigerian Constitution does not allow for such an extension.

In an exclusive interview with the Nigerian Tribune on Monday, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP's National Publicity Secretary, reiterated that the local councils' fixed three-year tenure has concluded.

He questioned whether any state house of assembly has the authority to extend this tenure and stressed that adherence to the rule of law is essential.

Controversy has arisen from some outgoing local government chairmen, who are supporters of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike.

They claim that their tenure has been extended by six months following amendments to the Rivers State local government laws and refuse to vacate their offices.

This claim has sparked significant tension, with opposing groups ready to challenge the outgoing chairmen's stance.

Ologunagba emphasized the PDP's commitment to constitutional adherence: "We support the constitutional provision of a three-year tenure for local government councils. This is not a matter of personal preference but a mandate of the Constitution. We believe in upholding this constitutional requirement."

It’s not about what we believe. That’s the provision of the Constitution.”

The PDP national publicity secretary took cognizance of the ongoing court cases concerning the Rivers State local government councils, noting that why the party may not be able to say much on the matter, it believes that when tenure expires, the occupants of the offices must vacate them to enable replacements to be chosen.

“We are a country of law and the constitution and procedures. If there is a tenure expiration, it follows that the occupier of that position will have to leave at the expiration of that tenure,” Ologunagba said.

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