By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Information reaching CrossRiverWatch suggests that Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade may singlehandedly appoint all members of the caretaker committee in Obudu local government area.
This formed part of the resolutions of the caucus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting Monday night held at State Housing in Calabar.
The meeting this reporter gathered, was necessitated by the directive of Mr. Ayade to PDP chapters to nominate persons into caretaker committees across the state.
The directive was contained in a press statement issued last week by Mr. Ayade’s spokesman, Mr. Christian Ita.
“Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade has directed all Peoples Democratic Party chapter caucuses to meet immediately to work out modalities and recommend names for appointment as members of caretaker committees for local government councils,” the statement read and directed the caucuses, “to ensure transparency and fairness by carrying all the wards along in the exercise.”
However, another statement issued on Tuesday morning and signed by Mr. Ita said the nominations will not include for Chairman and Secretary.
“Local Government chapter caucuses of the Peoples Democratic Party, which were directed by His Excellency the Governor, Professor Ben Ayade to meet and nominate persons for appointments into local government councils caretaker committees should please note that their mandate does not include nominations for the position of chairmen and secretaries of caretaker committees,” the statement read.
The appointment of the committees comes two years after the expiration of the tenures of the local government Chairmen and Councillors in December 2016 excluding Bakassi which elapsed in January 2017.
The local governments have been run by the most senior civil servants in the State’s local government system known as Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA).
The local government elections suffered several postponements with the All Progressives Congress going to court to stop the appointment of caretaker committees. But, the late Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam struck out the case and ruled that HOLGA’s were already caretaker chairmen.
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