Lalong lacks power to sack elected LG chairmen

After the elections that saw the emergence of Barr. Simon Lalong as the Governor of Plateau State, The Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, in Plateau State, Hon. Emmanuel Loman and his colleague paid a solidarity and congratulatory visit to the Governor and promised to work with Lalong to move the state forward, however their visit cause an outrage across the state as most people regards the election that brought the chairmen to power as a sham and a calculated move by ex governor Jonah Jang to impost his candidate against popular opinion.

Mr Yohanna Nyam-zi a civil servant with Jos north LGA said “As far as I am concern there was no election in Plateau State, Jang impose his goons on us and we are calling on Lalong to sack them all and conduct a free and fair election”.

Governor Lalong has however assured the chairmen that he had no intention of dissolving their leadership, he said his administration will be committed to the rule of law and work with the council chairmen in promoting peaceful coexistence among the people of the State. According to him: “One thing they said was that I will dissolve the local government councils in Plateau state but I am not going to do that, I tried to meet with you before the elections, but it was not possible because you had that right before the election but now that the elections are over. Whether you chose Mr. A or B you are bound to serve the people of Plateau state.”

As Lalong resumes official duty as Governor of the state, the call for him to sack the governors is getting louder as a lot felt it is dangerous to have LG chairmen all loyal to the opposition to work with the government of the day, however Governor Lalong as a Lawyer himself know that if the local government chairmen are democratically elected and have a fixed tenure, nobody can remove them. Just as nobody can remove the State House of Assembly or the National Assembly until their period elapse.

So, what people were urging Lalong to do is illegal, it is contrary to the constitution. They are telling him to exercise powers he don’t have.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Okey Wali, SAN said  “This idea of local government being appendages of states is not constitutional. They are constitutionally recognised and they should be allowed to run, local government must be autonomous they are the closest government to the people”.

The case of Langtang North LGA is however exceptional as the court has already ruled in favour of Chief Dan Dul of DPP who is democratically elected and yet to be sworn in.

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