The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has kicked against the recommendation by the State House of Assembly for the suspension of the 16 local government council chairmen in the State, demanding its immediate retraction.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Hon. (Engr.) Kola Shittu, the party described the move by the legislature as illegal and undemocratic, stressing that it was wrong for the House to recommend the suspension of the council bosses on allegation of financial misappropriation when they had not been properly investigated or invited for questioning.
“It should be noted that neither the House nor the governor has the power to suspend the council chairmen who were lawfully elected by their people.
“The council chairman were lawfully elected in 2017 by the people for a three-year tenure which will expire in 2020. Neither the governor nor the State assembly has the power to suspend or sack them before the expiration of their administrations.
“We wish to remind the lawmakers of a subsisting court order barring the State Governor nor any of his representatives including the State House of Assembly from suspending or dissolving elected local government chairmen or interfere in their financial activities until the lawful expiration of their tenure in 2020.
“It is also instructive to note that the Supreme Court had also declared as illegal and unconstitutional the dissolution of local government councils by State governor and the state assemblies.
“The decision of the Kwara State House of Assembly to suspend the elected council chairmen, therefore, amounts to reckless disregard of court order, abuse of power, and rape of democracy that must be resisted by all lovers of democracy. We must not allow our democracy to be subverted by anti-democratic elements.
“It is unfortunate that lawmakers who are supposed to be advocates of justice and due process are the ones compromising the law and perpetrating illegality to serve the interest of their paymasters.
“We wish to state that we are currently studying the situation and will contest the suspension of the council chairmen and ensure that justice is served.
“The party, therefore, urges Kwarans to disregard the illegal suspension of the local government chairmen they freely elected into office. As far as our laws are concerned, they remain the duly elected chairmen and will remain so till their tenure expire next year.”