Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State and the All Local Government Association of Nigeria, Nasarawa state chapter are at loggerheads over the tenure of elected local government officials in the state.
Mr. Al-Makura has directed the 13 local government chairmen to take the path of honour and vacate their offices at the expiration of their one-year tenure by midnight, March 24.
However, the state ALGON chairman, Suleiman Wambai, and Chairman, Lafia council area, said they are going no where as the matter of their tenure is before a court.
Mr. Wambai, who claimed that tenure was not included in their oath of office, argued that their election took place when the state was still contemplating either two or three years tenure.
He said the state assembly passed a law approving a one-year tenure for the chairmen after their election and that the chairmen would continue in office until the court rules on the matter.
However, the Nasarawa state government has distanced itself from the decision of the chairmen, saying the position of the law clearly stipulated one-year tenure of office for local councils which it said must be respected.
The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mohammed Danazumi, who distanced the Nasarawa State government from the decision of the chairmen, said it had no hand in their decision to remain in office after the expiration of their tenure.
“The position of the law on the matter is clear,” he said. “The state government has no hand in their decision because it is not for us to decide as the law stipulates one year.”
Mr. Danazimi also said the chairmen were expected to handover to the Directors of Personnel Management in their respective local government areas.
The state assembly had last week rejected a bill by the state government calling for extension of tenure of local government executive from one to three years in office.
The state assembly has 24 members with 20 members being members of the Peoples Democratic Party while four are of the All Progressives Congress.