Association of former Peoples Democratic Party Local Government Council Chairmen in Edo state have urged Governor Adams Oshiomhole to stop further suspension or sack of elected council chairmen and to reinstate without further delay those already suspended.
The association at a press briefing in Benin, Edo state capital yesterday advised the governor to toe the path of honour by desisting from what they called arbitrary and illegal suspension of the council bosses.
Chairman of the association, Mr. Victor Enoghama and secretary, Barr Vincent Akhere, urged Governor Oshiomhole to adhere strictly to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended in dealing with any erring elected council bosses.
According to the body, while not supporting corruption, indiscipline or dereliction of duties by either elected or appointed public officers, “we uphold tenaciously the tenets of democracy as powered by the constitution and which provisions the governor must adhere to, in sanctioning erring elected council officials.”
The association stated further that, the local government law 2002 as amended, in section 19 (1-10) clearly stipulates the grounds under which a council chairman or vice chairman can be removed from office. Section 19 (9) of the provision for instance, specifically states that the holder of the office under investigation (chairman) shall not be suspended from office within the period of investigation.
However, “in Edo state, Governor Oshiomhole suspends any suspected chairman even before commencing investigation,” they alleged. The association further noted with dismay that the governor had recently suspended five elected chairmen over allegations which the state government cited as diversion of funds and inability to pay council workers but which the group say were unproven.
They further queried, “if non payment of salary is the reason for the suspension of the five, why were the other chairmen who were even owing more than the five spared?”