On the 2nd day of January 2019 instant the good people of Zamfara state and the general public were informed by the Government of Zamfara state of the wholesale extension of the tenure of all 14 nos. elected local government councils in Zamfara state by 3 months beginning 2nd day of January 2019 to 2nd day f April, 2019.
This was sequel to a purported approval or confirmation by the Zamfara state House of Assembly granted in an emergency session of the House held on 2nd day of January 2019 to a request brought for that purpose by His Excellency, Hon. Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, the Governor of Zamfara state. The said extension was purportedly made pursuant to powers enabling under section 15(4) of the Zamfara State local Government Law, 2012, as amended.
By the said extension the 14 nos. democratically elected Local Government Councils in Zamfara State whose tenure began on 2nd day of January, 2016 and constitutionally and or statutorily expired on 2nd day of January, 2019 were by administrative and fiat extended for another 3 months. This extension of tenure is in lieu of the conduct Local Government Council elections by the Zamfara State Independent Electoral commission (ZSIEC) as statutorily provided by both the 1999 constitution and the Zamfara State Local Government Law 2012, as amended.
We, the undersigned, having carefully and objectively considered the circumstances surrounding the request made to the Zamfara State House of Assembly by His Excellency the Governor of Zamfara State, the approval/confirmation granted by the said House and the subsequent purported extension of the tenure of expired elected Local Government Councils of Zamfara State as stated above wish to observe/ state as follows-
That the extension of the tenure of the elected councils is most unwarranted and without justification whatsoever as there is no compelling causes shown for not conducting or holding local Government elections of replace the expired councils.
That the extension of tenure of the 14 nos. council is an aberration to the terms and sprit of 1999 constitution as well as the Zamfara State Local Government Law 2012, as amended which has the effect of converting the officials of the councils to appointees of His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State to do or execute the wishes of said Governor against the will of the good people of Zamfara State.
That the Zamfara State Government Law 2012, as amended under which both the Governor of Zamfara state and the Zamfara state House of Assembly purported to have acted to made/grant to extension of the tenure of the said councils does not envisage the conversion of local government councils into mere appointees of the governor of the state.
That indeed section 15(4) of Local Government Law supra cited as enabling such extension to be made/granted does not exist n the Zamfara State Local Government law 2012, as amended or any other law applicable in Zamfara state.
That, if for any good and cogent cause or reason it is impracticable to conduct election to replace and elected council, the appropriate thing to do, as envisaged by the Zamfara state Local Government law 2012 as amended is for the Governor to raise a proposal to the House for their interim replacement by the appointment of sole administrators/Caretaker Committees and obtain the House’s approval/confirmation of the persons so proposed.
That the purported extension of the tenure of the expired 14 nos. local government councils of Zamfara State is in the present circumstances unconstitutional, unlawful/illegal, null and void of no effect whatsoever and it is the responsibility of the good people of Zamfara state and all lawful authorities including the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to recognize or deal with the said councils and or allocate funds from the federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Funds to the councils until they are replaced by elected councils as envisage by the Constitution supra and Zamfara State Local Government Law 2012, as amended.
On the premise above, we the undersigned, hereby make the following demands on both the leadership of Zamfara State House of Assembly and His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State.
That the Zamfara State House of Assembly should forthwith revise/withdraw the approval/confirmation granted to His Excellency the Governor of Zamfara State to extend the Tenure of all 14 nos. local government councils whose tenure expired automatically on 2nd day of January, 2019 instant.
That His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State should forward a proposal and names of sole administrators/caretaker committees to the House of Assembly for approval/confirmation to replace the 14 nos. expired councils in the interim.
That His Excellency, the Governor of Zamfara State should fund the Zamfara State independent electoral commission immediately to enable it conduct local government council elections for all 14 nos. Local Government Areas in Zamfara state before the expiration of the tenure of the proposed Sole Administrators/ caretaker Committees.
That the following Hon. Members of the House, namely –who were purportedly suspended unlawfully by the leadership of the House, for exercising their constitutional freedom of expression and privilege as members to voice their opposition to the grant of the request by the Governor for extension of the tenure of the expired councils on the floor of the House should immediately be recalled I the interest of a sustainable democracy and the enhancement of freedom of speech and opinion.
There is need to address the issues and demands raised above urgently and responsibly. We caution that if no positive action is taken by all concerned to remedy this situation the undersigned, like all other responsible persons of Zamfara State, including the people we represent, would be at liberty to take all appropriate and lawful action to seek redress.
Hon. Abdullahi Mohammed Dansadau –Chief Whip: ___________
Hon. Mallam Mani Mallam Mumuni – Deputy Chief Whip: __________
Hon. Salisu Musa Tsafe: ___________
Hon. Dayyabu Adamu Rijiya: ___________
Hon. Munsur Ahmed Musa Bungudu: ___________
Hon. Hashimu M. Shehu Gazura: ___________
Hon. Abubakar Ajiya Nasarawa: