Chief Whip of the Senate , Senator Orji Uzor Kalu will be absent for tomorrow’s local government and council elections in Abia State, this Newspaper authoritatively reports
Kalu’s absence is not unconnected with the ongoing budget defense in the National Assembly.
In a brief telephone chat on Wednesday night with the Abia North Senator, he regretted his unavailability in the election stating that Senate’s resolve to pass the budget before Christmas holiday is his main reason for the unavailability.
“I have a mandate from my people to protect and as a Principal officer , I have to be present and do my job . ” Kalu said
It will be recalled that since Senator Kalu left office as Abia Governor (1999-2007), the local government elections were not been held in Abia State. The local government system was operated under a caretaker arrangement.
While this attracted barrage of criticisms in the past, it seriously hampered the progress and development of the local government areas in the state.
The Abia State Independent Election Commission (ABSIEC) recently fixed elections for chairmanship and councillorship positions in all the 17 local government councils and 292 ABSIEC wards in the state for December 18, 2020.
The important roles the local government plays in a system cannot be overemphasised. They are divided into Mandatory, permissive and concurrent. The obligatory roles of the local government are those roles provided by Schedule IV of t Constitution. They are functions which the local government is bound to render to the people because of its knowledge of the local problems.
However, these functions have suffered for lack of democratically elected executives in the local government areas in the state.