By Emmanuel Antswen
The Benue State Government said on Tuesday said that it plans to conduct election into local government councils in the state on Nov. 30.
Gov. Samuel Ortom made the announcement at the inauguration of the state Local Government Service Commission, the state Planning Commission and a member of the State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) in Makurdi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the last local government poll was held in June 2017. The two years tenure expired in July 2019.
Meanwhile, the governor has appointed caretaker chairmen to the run the affairs of the councils before the election.
The governor said that the State Independent Electoral Commission had confirmed that it is ready to conduct the election on Nov. 30.
“I held a meeting with the state electoral commission; we agreed that tentatively, the local government election will hold in November.
“I am aware that the law requires the state to provide 40 per cent funds for the conduct of the election while the local councils provide the balance 60 per cent.
“We will ensure that the funds are made available for the exercise,’’ Ortom said.
He cautioned the service commission against use of federation allocation funds for overheads instead of executing projects.
“I want to know the exact staff strength of the local government councils. I also want to know the ghost workers in the local councils.
“If you go to Guma local council where I come from, you will see less than 20 people at the secretariat but the same council has over 900 staff in its payroll.
“Some people are working elsewhere but collect salaries as council staff. They are mechanics, business people, they don’t go to work but receive salaries monthly,’’ he said.