Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, on Monday, swore in Uloma Nwogu as the new chairperson of Obingwa Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Nwogu was the council’s deputy chairperson before her elevation.
She was sworn in against the backdrop of the defection of the former chairman, Ibe Nwoko, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
Mr Nwoko dumped the PDP for the YPP, where he got the ticket to contest for the House of Representatives for Osisioma/Ugwunagbo/Obingwa Federal Constituency.
In a speech at the swearing-in, Mr Ikpeazu charged the new chairperson to protect the interest of women and youths of the area.
He also charged her to protect the interest of the people of Obingwa and Abia.
Mr Ikpeazu further charged her to evolve programmes and policies that would outlive her tenure.
The governor said the state government was committed to deepening democracy through the involvement of youths and women in governance at the local government level.
He gave reasons for swearing in Mrs Nwogu, saying the office became vacant, following Mr Nwoko’s resignation.
He said: “I received a letter dated May 23, entitled: ‘Resignation of my party membership’ by Nwoko.
“In consonance with the Laws guiding Local Governments in Abia, the consequence of the letter is that he has breached the provisions of Section 23(1) of the Local Government Law of 2006.
“This makes it imperative that a new chairman would be sworn in to take over the realms of power at that level as the former chairman had decided to pursue his political career on another platform.”
In a response, Mrs Nwogu thanked the state government for the opportunity given to her to serve and contribute to the development of the state.
She promised to discharge her duties diligently to facilitate socio-economic development of the area and the state at large.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chikamnayo Eze, said the law provides that defecting from the party on which platform a council office holder got elected amounts to losing the position.
Mr Eze said: “There are consequences to every action and in this case, there are constitutional consequences that are enshrined in the 2006 Law of the Local Governments in Abia.
“It is an explicit law. It has been tested constitutionally by the court upto the Supreme Court, which decided that votes garnered at an election belonged to the party.”
NAN reports that the two-year tenure of the present local government administration in the state would lapse on December 21.
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