Why FCT minister suspended inauguration of Area Council Chairmen, Councillors

Mohammed Bello, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, has suspended the scheduled inauguration of the Six Area Council Chairmen and Councillors.

In a statement by the minister on Thursday, the suspension of the inauguration was due to a court judgement which ordered a suspension of the inauguration.

The inauguration was slated for Friday, May 20, 2022, as the tenure of the current chairman is supposed to end today.

What the minister is saying

In the statement, the minister noted that the new Electoral Act 2022 provides for a four-year tenure for the office of the FCT area council chairman.

He said, ”As you are all aware, in March of 2019, we held the Area Council elections in the FCT, whereby six Council Chairmen and their Councillors were elected after a very competitive and rigorous process.
”The existing Chairmen whose tenures were meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law.
”So, as a law-abiding government, the FCT Administration has no option but to suspend the planned inauguration of the Six Area Council Chairmen of the FCT who were duly elected some weeks ago as a result of this injunction of the court.
”Also, as an administration that is very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though we are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, we have no option but to comply. ”
”If need arises, to appeal the judgment so that the correct position of the law will be determined by the legal processes.
”In the interim, therefore, we are very conscious of the fact that the stand of the court has raised a lot of concerns within certain sections of the Federal Capital Territory residents.
”I wish to appeal to everyone to be calm, to be law-abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes.
”Please let us continue the way we are and await the court processes. At the end of the court processes, the clear direction of what needs to be done would be clearly stated and then as an administration, we will do the needful,” 

What you should know

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted the chairmanship and councillorship elections in all the six council areas of the FCT on February 12, 2022.
The council areas are Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abuja Municipal (AMAC).
Over 400 candidates and their running mates contested for the
six chairmanship positions – one for each area council – and available 62 councillorship positions in the council areas were contested for by over 400 candidates and their running mates.
Even though 14 political parties contested, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won three councils apiece at the end of the election.

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