Dantalla Aminu Dankatas writes:
When a custodian of the law becomes a prime culprit in breaking the law, it calls for serious concern. For avoidance of any doubt, the local government chairman is the chief security officer of his local council. It is within his purview to ensure peace and order among the people of his area council.
In Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa State, there is a problem at hand which poses a very serious security threat not only to the local government but also to Adamawa State and indeed the nation at large. There is a flagrant abuse of the democratic principle of separation of power by the chairman, Mahmud Mamman Abba who without due process has shut down the activities of the legislative council and taken upon himself the role of the lawmaker as well as the chief executive officer of the local government council.
Surrounded by touts and hoodlums, he is lording it over everyone in the local government who he is determined to subdue.
Without regard to wise counsel, the chairman carries on as if other people do not exist and has been implementing policies without the input of councillors as well as expending money as he deems fit. In fact, it is difficult to differentiate between his personal accounts and the local government’s.
It is not known that the legislative council has ever approved any budget presented, yet the chairman has continued to appropriate monies for different things with reckless abandon. Even the internally generated revenue which is the tax payer’s money has continually been utilised without recourse to legislative approval.
The building of the new local government secretariat is being solely undertaken by the chairman. To this day, perhaps with the exception of the vice chairman, nobody knows the cost of the project.
In fact, for a long time now, the entire local government area has been left at mercy of hoodlums and other criminal elements believed to be in the employ of the council chairman who has done nothing as the chief security officer to halt the drift in the area. This clearly shows that he is part and parcel of the breakdown of law and order in the council.
It is a well known tenet in democracy that people’s representatives cannot be prosecuted based on what transpires on the floor of the legislature, but the case of the Yola North local government council is different as elected councillors representing the people are witch-hunted by the chairman using law enforcement agents and street urchins.
Arbitrary appointments have been made without due process. This goes a long way to prove that the chairman either does not take the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria seriously or has decided to be a law unto himself.
A vote of no confidence passed on the leader of the legislative council was declared null and void by the chairman and his cohorts. In the legislative council of eleven, seven is the legal number that can unseat a leader except where there are abstentions. But the chairman of Yola North Local Government does not recognise this and makes sure that constitutional provisions are not respected in the council.
Today, one can conveniently say Yola North local government council does not exist because the chairman has made sure there is no functional legislative council. He has sealed the legislative chamber and put on hold all Legislative activities. He has continued to harass and intimidate members of the legislative council using hoodlums and other criminal elements.
Recently, the councilors called in the law enforcement agents and a well known leader of the hoodlums was arrested after vandalising a vehicle and physically assaulting a female councilor who was being tipped to ascend the leadership of the council.
Immediately the hoodlum was picked up, the chairman ensured that lawyers were sent to bail the suspect and all forms of courtesies were extended to him. This clearly gave Abba out as being behind the harassment of b the councillors.
It is increasingly becoming clear to us the citizens of Yola North, that the chairman we elected to represent us has not only failed us but has also embarked on intimidating and harassing us.
We call on the governor and all well meaning citizens, particularly the elders of thought in Adamawa State to intervene and check the excesses of Abba whose activities constitute a threat to peace and security in Yola North, given that we are just gradually attaining peace following the devastation from the Boko Haram insurgency. His is a clear case of an elected officer turned despot.
It is also expected that with matter now before the Adamawa State House of Assembly the state lawmakers will move swiftly to call the chairman to order.
culled from leadership.ng