Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has gone into wide-ranging consultations with local government stakeholders to select interim management teams which will run the 17 local councils between now and 29 February 2020.
The tenure of elected local government officials ended on Tuesday 3 December 2019 and the state electoral body has announced 29 February 2020 as new election date to choose a new set of chairmen and councilors for the 17 local councils of Enugu State.
Leaders from each of the councils are therefore being invited to Lion Building, the State seat of power, to discuss with the Governor on who should be appointed to manage the councils as interim chairmen and supervisory councilors until the election takes place.
Metro News gathered that in the interactions with stakeholders, the Governor has been asking for consensus candidates to be appointed as interim chairman to oversee the councils, but this has not been possible to achieve in most of the meetings so far held.
For the council elections proper, the Governor asked the stakeholders that attended the meetings that in appointing members of the interim committees, they should address two issues that have become recurring injustices in the system:
- the need to ensure that political leaders in the councils and wards drop the use of their positions to perpetuate inequality in sharing political positions; and
- to henceforth ensure gender balance in choosing candidates in interim management of the councils and the subsequent elections.
On the issue of gender balance, the Governor noted that women have often been discriminated against in appointment of supervisory councilors in almost all local councils and said that this practice should cease.
He also sought drastic redress in some cases. For instance, in his meeting with stakeholders from Awgu Local Government today, 5 December, Governor Ugwuanyi directed that only women should be appointed for the five interim supervisory councilor positions.
He also advised the leaders who have not agreed on a proper rotation formula for nominating candidates for election or appointments to engage in honest and frank discussions that will lead to a signed and sealed charter of equity.
He said that such an agreement will help to stem the acrimony and division that usually attend every effort to select candidates to run for elections on the party platform.