Billy Graham Abel Yola
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Adamawa State chapter, has issued a seven days ultimatum to the Adamawa State Government to organise and conduct local government council elections.
The state’s chairman of IPAC, Kevin Iliya Agowa, said IPAC would initiate necessary legal action to ensure the state government complies with the law over what it described as a deliberate refusal to conduct elections which has opened up undemocratic, unconstitutional gaps in the running of local governments in the state.
Iliya Agowa made the remarks at a press briefing, Tuesday, in Yola, Adamawa State.
According to Agowa, “IPAC as a recognised umbrella statutory body of all registered political parties in the state cannot and would not look the other way when the government in power does anything that is illegal or unconstitutional and therefore detrimental to our hard earned democracy.
“State government, apparently in response to pressure do the needful conducted LG elections in 2016 with two year tenure under the State Electoral Law which expired on the 31st day of July,2018.
“It was expected that a serious democratic government would take steps to conduct LG elections before the end of the tenure of the then serving council so that we do not have undemocratic gap in the running of the LG councils.”
Agowa lamented that, “Unlike what INEC is doing at the federal level, ADSIEC in Adamawa state, to add to its list of illegal and unconstitutional failures, decided deliberately not to recognise and conduct the election, instead the state government appointed career civil servant to manage the affairs of the 19 LGSs with whatever financial and political benefits derivable.”
“We consider this deliberate refusal/neglect as undemocratic, unconstitutional, illegal and in flagrant violation of section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.”
IPAC also criticized the Adamawa State Board of Internal Revenue for slamming a fixed rates payable as income tax for political office sectors.
Agowa continued, “This clearly shows the inefficiency in the board and we unequivocally urge the general public to disregard that circular.”
Explaining the income tax slammed on politicians by the state government, the state’s vice chairman of IPAC, Sunday Wugira said, “The payment of income tax is not a requirement for contesting elections under the current electoral law.
“The people of Adamawa must see the incompetence and dishonesty of the board in taking this decision.
“They have decided that everyone running for political office must be charged an income tax, those running for president must pay N1.5 million naira, those running for governorship office have to pay N900, 000, those running for Senate to pay N750,000, reps aspirants N450,000, LG chairmanship candidates, N300,000, state house of Assembly aspirants, N250,000 and councillorship candidates N60,000.”
IPAC has called on all stakeholders to ignore the statement of the board of internal revenue.