By Wilson Adekumola
The Voice of Bayelsa Group, a Civil Society Organisation for good governance and equal representation with members cutting across the entire local government areas of Bayelsa State, has called for the conduct of the local government election in order to bring governance to the grassroot.
Recall that the tenure of the last elected council chairmen and councilors expired on August 14, 2022 and the councils had been operating without elected bosses since then.
According to The Nation, Diri had been criticized by the opposition and concerned stakeholders over the inability of his administration to conduct council polls.
The Operational Commander, VBG, Apostle Bodmas Prince Kemepadei, urged Governor Douye Diri to facilitate the process for the conduct of the elections and the reinstatement of all the Rural Development Areas.
Kemepadei who reiterated their decision not to relent in their quest for the conduct of LGA elections said that “if we have to occupy the National Assembly to drive home our demands, we shall do so.”
He stressed further that “It is unjust and unfair to deprive local communities of their elected representatives, if President Muhammadu Buhari had not conducted governorship elections, how would the Governors have felt?
“Governance at the local level is currently far from the people; the conduct of local government elections would bring governance nearer to our rural communities.
“Our call for conduct of council election is therefore in tandem with the Constitution, Electoral Act and landmark Supreme Court judgment that asserted that local governments must be governed by elected officials and not by proxies.
“The people at the grassroots are helpless. They lack employment and accessibility to their leaders. Many of our communities are without health-care, teachers and basic social amenities. The people have no form of elected government representatives.”
Douye Diri had said recently, however, that his administration would conduct local government elections this year.
The Governor, while speaking with journalists, affirmed that the state government was actually waiting for the 2023 general elections to be concluded before commencing the process for the LGA polls.