Youth protests rock Rivers over alleged LGA chair tenure extension

Tensions ran high in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Rivers State as youths took to the streets to protest against the purported extension of tenure for the 23 council chairpersons. These chairpersons, who were elected in 2018, were scheduled to complete their tenure on June 17, 2024.

The controversy stems from a recent amendment to Local Government Law Number 5 of 2018 by the Rivers State House of Assembly. This amendment allows for the extension of the tenure of elected chairmen and councillors in cases where elections are not conducted before the expiration of their three-year term.

Despite a court ruling nullifying the amendment, which was seen as a response to ongoing political turmoil in the state, hundreds of aggrieved youths voiced their dissent through protests held at Dageme, Asari Toru, and Akuku Toru LGAs on Monday. They demanded the immediate removal of the chairpersons from office.

Earlier in the month, 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly vowed to resist any attempt by Governor Siminalayi Fubara to appoint caretaker committees to oversee the local councils. Martins Amaewhule, the House Speaker, categorically stated that the assembly would not accept any list of caretaker committee nominees from the governor.

“The governor should not send any lists to us. We are not expecting any list because caretaker committees are indeed an aberration,” Amaewhule emphasized. “There will be nothing like a caretaker committee. The constitution remains the ground norm, and we will continue to abide by it.”

The unfolding situation highlights the deep-seated political tensions and legal complexities surrounding local governance in Rivers State, as stakeholders continue to navigate the fallout from the legislative amendments and judicial rulings affecting the tenure of local government officials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.