The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised accusations against Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State, asserting that his recent appointment of caretaker committees for local government areas in the state undermines the rule of law.
According to the PDP, the appointment lacks legal backing and has sparked concerns about the governor’s commitment to the promised autonomy for local government administration.
In a statement signed by Bemgba Iortyom, the State Publicity Secretary of Benue PDP, it was highlighted that the appointment of caretaker committees for all 23 local government councils was carried out without the necessary enabling law from the Benue State House of Assembly.
The PDP claimed that the heads of these committees bypassed the mandatory screening by the legislature, thus violating due process. The party contends that Governor Alia’s actions contradict his campaign promises during the 2023 elections, where he pledged to grant autonomy to the local government tier.
Despite the expiration of the tenures of the 23 council chairmen elected on the PDP’s platform in the April 30, 2022 local council elections, set to end on June 28, 2024, the PDP alleges that Governor Alia has disregarded court orders upholding the tenure of the previously elected councils.
The statement pointed to court judgments, including one by Hon. Justice (Dr.) I. J. Essien, explicitly prohibiting the dissolution of elected councils. Despite these rulings, Governor Alia allegedly constituted a committee that swiftly recommended the suspension of the councils and their chairmen, a move criticized by the PDP for violating existing court orders and raising legal and democratic concerns.
Bemgba Iortyom accused the governor of hypocrisy, suggesting that his promise of autonomy was merely a strategy to secure votes during the elections.
The PDP is calling on Governor Alia to reverse the appointment of caretaker committees, uphold the rule of law, and adhere to democratic principles in the state.