By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Former Secretary General of the National Union of Banks and Insurance, Comrade Abdullahi Shehu has described as purely unconstitutional the recent appointments of Caretaker Chairmen into the Local Government Councils of Bauchi State.
He said that the appointment of Caretaker Chairmen by the Bauchi State Government for the twenty Local Government Councils in the state rather than complement the constitution perpetually contradicts it.
Comrade Abdullahi Shehu told the press in Bauchi that the Nigerian Constitution provides that whoever will become a leader or exercise the powers of a leader must be democratically elected.
According to him, there is no system recognize by the Nigerian Constitution beside democratic elections, saying “Anything you put in a position that the Constitution says should be elective democratically, you are contravening the constitution”.
He further explained that the constitution also provides that Local Government Councils are going to be administered by democratically elected executives.
Shehu, also berated the Bauchi State Legislature for screening the candidates for appointment as caretaker chairmen of the councils, stressing “What Bauchi state government and State Assembly have done is contrary to the stipulations in the Constitution”.
The former labour leader, who described as unlawful the action taken by the state government to appoint caretaker committees for the councils, expressed delight for the checks and balances being provided by the democratic set up in the country.
“The Bauchi State House of Assembly members also didn’t help matters for them to even screen people who they knew the Constitution does not recognize, because the only people that are liable for screening are ministers under the President and commissioners under the Governor”.
“The action is just to give semblance to people who are ignorance of the Constitution to feel that what they are doing is right, and it is very wrong because it is contrary to what is in the Nigerian Constitution which they sworn to uphold”.
He stated the fact that the State Executive Council deliberately refused to make budgetary provision to the legislature which also kept mum on the need for the conduct of Local Government elections means that the two arms lacks interest in democratic elections into the councils.
“And they knew that the previous administration didn’t hold council elections, but we continue to do the wrong thing. They said they are the government of doing the right, so the last budget proposal should have been reverted to the Executives to include council elections because it is long overdue”.
“So they have all joined hands to conspire against the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria, and against the freedom and fairness of the people of Bauchi state who are supposed to be governed by the Constitution only under elected people”
Shehu advised the Executive and Legislature to respect the Constitution of Nigeria, not to be selective of its provisions or stipulations, and asked Nigerians particularly people of Bauchi state to realize that the present democracy can only be sustained when all remain vigilant.
By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi