Governor Orji claims all political parties will have a “level playing ground.”
For the first time in four years, local government elections will be held in Abia, the state governor, Theodore Orji, has said.
The governor said this on Monday in Umuahia while briefing newsmen on some of the achievements recorded by his administration. He said the elections are planned for January.
Local councils in Abia have been administered by transition committees for the past four years, but Mr. Orji said that it is time to conduct elections in that tier of government, adding that “the transition system is not perpetual.”
“I intend to conduct elections at the local government areas by January next year after due consultation with the Chairman of Abia State Independent Electoral Commission,” he said.
Mr. Orji said that all political parties in the state would be given a level playing ground to vie for offices during the polls.
He said that the state had to administer the Councils with caretaker chairmen due to large debts incurred by the immediate past elected executives at the Councils.
“They left us with the burden of N2.9 billion being unpaid salaries and other emoluments, including the N29 billion debt I inherited from previous administrations,” he said.
“We are now blocking the loopholes through which revenues where siphoned and before January, our finances would have improved,” he said.
Mr. Orji warned partisan civil servants and other political appointees that are already angling for one position or the other against such actions.
“I don’t see why people should leave governance and start talking of what they will be. “If I notice that your attention is divided on such alignment, be you a civil servant or political office holder, I will relieve you of your duty,” he said.
He said that the ruling party in Abia already has a formidable structure capable of withstanding any opposition.
“All these mushroom structures people are building will collapse when our structure takes-off,” Mr. Orji said.