The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Imo State chapter, has protested Gov. Rochas Okorocha’s refusal to reinstate local government chairmen in the state.
The Secretary of the chapter, Mr Enyinnaya Onuegbu, said during a protest march in Owerri that the protest was to sensitize the public “on the destruction of the third tier government in the state.”
“Today’s protest march is a peaceful protest in defence of democracy at the local government level.
“We want to call the attention of the Imo people to the governors’ contempt of court rulings on the tenure of the 27 council chairmen and the 305 ward councilors in the state.
“The governor’s action has crippled local government administration in the state and Imo people are suffering because of this.
“No democracy dividend is available at the local government level because of the failure of this administration to recognize the importance of the local government,” he said.
Onuegbu also condemned the continued release of local government allocations without Joint account committee meetings.
He called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter urgently.
Reacting to the protest, the Special Assistant to the governor on media, Mr Ebere Uzoukwu, said the administration of Okorocha was focused and committed to the ongoing transformation of the state.
According to him, the state government will not join issues with the former PDP council chairmen whose suit on tenure elongation has been dismissed by an Owerri High Court.
“They have no business in the local government areas as their two-year tenure expired last year. They are only exhibiting desperation, apparently believing that it is still business as usual,” he said.