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PDP sues Kwara government over interim local councils

By Toyin Durosinlohun, Ilorin
The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed its willingness to challenge the legality of the inauguration of Transition Implementation Committees (TICs) in the 16 local government councils of the state.
Chairman of PDP in the state, Mr Iyiola Oyedepo, made this known on Sunday in a statement issued in Ilorin after a meeting of critical stakeholders of the party.
“We believe that all forms of illegality committed by the ruling APC should be challenged in the court of law. When the state administration illegally extended the tenure of Offa Local Government Council, we quickly challenged it in court.
“It was the decision of the government to nominate caretaker administration into the sixteen councils of the state that rendered nugatory the action taken,” Oyedepo said in the statement.
According to the chairman, the implementation of TICs is illegal and this informed the party’s resort to legal process.
“The decision of the state government to appoint the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) to be in charge of our local councils is unconstitutional and therefore illegal. Legal challenge as an instrument of political resistance in opposition politics was part of what was discussed at the critical stakeholders’ meeting.
“We are armed with plethora of legal authorities that can be used to effectively stop them. Recently, the National Assembly through the Speaker of the House of Representatives also took a stand against the existence of undemocratic structure in local government administration in Nigeria,” Oyedepo added.
Oyedepo said the party had perfected the legal papers and assembled a team of lawyers to challenge the implementation of the TICs in court.
He appealed to PDP members to be prepared as the state government may decide to hold the local government elections before end of April, 2017.
“The consensus opinion among our party members in the sixteen local councils of Kwara State is that we should participate in the exercise. Apart from the possibility of winning some local government councils in that election, our participation will activate our party.
“But if we must participate, we should not allow for crisis arising from nominations of chairmen and councillors for the elections,” the chairman added.
He appealed to party members to adopt consensus method in choosing candidates for the elections to eliminate wrangling and crisis among members.
“As much as possible, nominations should be by consensus and nobody’s ambition should be strong enough to tear the party apart. Even where there is the need for zoning of positions, it should be done to narrow areas of conflicts. We also need to use the best of our materials for the election,” the chairman said.
According to him, featuring candidates for election should be according to the party’s need to win rather than the perceived high status of some of the members.
“We need credibility of candidates not only to win local government elections but also to sustain the victory in elections that may be fraught with fraud and manipulations.
“Decision of the party should be cardinal on who to feature for elections,” he added.
Oyedepo urged members to practice at a lower level in the local government election what they may have to adopt in the 2019 general elections.
He said PDP would soon embark on Sensitisation, Mobilisation and Organisation (SMO) initiative through the media to effectively mobilise the people of the state.
“We shall sensitise the people, then mobilise them and organise the sensitised members of the public. With this, we shall make the people believe and take the ownership of our agenda,’’ Oyedepo said.

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