Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has directed all the 18 Local Government Chairmen in the State to handover to their respective local government administrators by, Friday, March 5, 2021.
The move, as learnt, was to prepare the ground for the conduct of Local Government election in March.
The dissolution of the Caretaker Committee should have been announced earlier than now on the grounds of their illegality.
Sustsining the Caretaker arrangement at the third tier of government is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court had ruled that Caretaker Committees running local government administration was illegal.
Some State Governments have set machinery in motion to emplace democratically-elected local governments in their respective States.
Yobe, for instance, has just conducted its local government poll with the governing All Progressives Congress sweeping all the chairmanship and councillorship positions.
Edo situation may not be as seamless as Yobe because of the intra-party tension in the Peoples Democratic Party on which platform Governor Obaseki secured re-election for a second term in office.
This online newspaper gathered that there is a push and shove situation between the governor and the leadership of the PDP over nomination of candidates for the Local Government election.
While the governor, as learnt, wants to fix his loyalists that moved with him from the APC as candidates, the original PDP leaders are resisting the move.
The PDP leaders who have the structures of the party under their control are looking to present all the candidates.
Governor Obaseki, sources hinted, is thus considering a return to the APC because of the hurdles mounted on his path towards full control of the PDP.
He is harnessing the support of his APC colleagues in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum who assisted him to win the Edo election, to also assist him to return to the party.
This much was confirmed by the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu during his swearing in for a second term in office in Akure.
At the event, which was attended by Obaseki, Akeredolu said he would do everything within his powers to bring back Obaseki to the APC.
Obaseki, on his part is trying to clear the home front of forces that could challenge him in the APC when he returns.
Having contributed largely to the removal of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the party, he is now concentrating on how to remove Prince Clem Agba, a loyal supporter of Oshiomhole, from his position as minister.
It was learnt that he has embarked on the remove-Agba- enterprise in order to return and take absolute control of the APC structure with the support of some external forces who backed him during the September 19, 2020 governorship poll.
But the current exertion is how to navigate the storm of the local government poll with his legs in the PDP and his eyes cum mind in the APC.
Nevertheless, he has dissolved the caretaker committees as a prelude to his political agenda of controlling governance anyhow at the local government level.
The directive by which he dissolved the Council was contained in a memo dated March 2, 2021 from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
“The directive affects all councillors and political appointees of the 18 council areas of the state,” the memo with reference number: FMLC.170/vol.111/646, signed by the Permanent Secretary, M.E. Jos-Bazuaye, said.
The memo asked the chairmen to vacate office on the said date (March 5, 2021) because their tenure will expire.
Jos-Bazuaye also said that the directive affected all councillors and political appointees of the 18 council areas of the state.
“I am directed to refer to the above subject and to request all Local Government Council chairmen are to hand over the administration of the 18 Local Government Councils to the respective Heads of Local Government Administrators in their various Local Government latest by Friday, March 5, 2021,” the memo said.
The council officials were inaugurated on March 5, 2018, following their victory in the local government elections of March 3, 2018.