Politics

“Conduct proper elections & save Anambra from hardship” – LP chieftain tells Soludo

Labour Party (LP) chieftain, Valentine Ozigbo, has urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo to conduct proper local government elections and “save Ndi Anambra from hardship.”

Ozigbo, a former Peoples Democratic Party Governorship candidate in the state, made the suggestion in a post on his Facebook page on Friday.

He said “Just yesterday, we received news about the FCT High Court’s order in Apo, restraining the Accountant General of the Federation and the Federal Minister of Finance from further remitting funds due to the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State to the Soludo-led State Government.

“The Court ordered these funds to be deposited into an interest-bearing account managed by the Chief Registrar of the FTC High Court until the Court hears the substantive Motion on Notice.

“Furthermore, the Court directed the anti-graft commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to invite and interrogate the relevant officers of the Anambra State Government regarding the deployment of funds received between March 22, 2022, and April 30, 2024.

“The EFCC is expected to file an Affidavit of Compliance, including the Investigation Report, within 30 days.”

He noted that the news is not entirely cheerful, given that it involves funds due to the local government areas of Anambra.

He, however, described it as a welcome development, adding that the use of appointed Caretaker Committees to manage the affairs of Local Governments is illegal.

“It is unfortunate that Anambra’s Governor Chukwuma Soludo has continued this practice since his inauguration on March 17, 2022, despite promises to the contrary.

“The court documents highlight that N7,323,679,402.23 was allocated to the Anambra State Government in March 2024 for the benefit of the 21 LGAs.

“Over the past two years, approximately N175 billion may have accrued to these LGAs. Now, imagine the impact this substantial sum could have had on schools, healthcare institutions, markets, and the lives of the people in LGAs like Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Idemili South, and Ekwusigo, which have felt little to no government presence.

“Consider that this approximated N175 billion is not part of the State Government’s allocation or the internally generated revenue in Anambra.

“Given the heightened insecurity that has plagued Anambra since this administration took office, continuing to remit these substantial funds without elected Local Government Councils is counterproductive,” he added.

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