The Enugu State House of Assembly on Thursday passed into law the bill that amended Enugu State Local Government Law, Capb109, Law of Enugu State, 2004 and to provide for other Matters Connected Thereto, House Bill No. 9, 2017.
In the same vein, the bill to amend the Enugu State Development Areas Law, 2007 and Other Matters Connected Thereto, House Bill No. 10, 2017, was also passed into law.
The two executives bills presented by the leader of the House, Hon. Okechukwu Ezeugwu, were meant to amend the existing laws so that those who have held positions as either elected chairmen or appointed chairmen in any of the 68 development council areas or the 17 Federal recognised local government area councils for two consecutive times will not qualify to stand for election for such positions again in Enugu State.
This is coming at the backdrop of the forthcoming council election coming up at the fourth quarter of the year.
On the amendment of the development councils areas law, more new development areas were created to increase the numbers from 56 to 68 whereas the number of the committees that will supervise the development areas were increased from 5 – 10.
Representation of women with the amendment has now increased from 1 -3 since the size has increased from 5 -10, thereby making the number of the caretaker committees to comprise Chairman and Secretary, three women and five others who are males.
Contributing to the debate on the amended Local Government Law, members said it was apt that people who have served in different capacities either as council chairmen or development areas caretaker committee chairmen for two terms should not qualify to contest elections as chairmen for the council areas in the interest fairness and justice.
In his contribution, member representing Ezeagu, Hon China Obieze said that he supported the amendment in toto.
‘Mr. Speaker, honourable colleagues, I have risen to lend my voice to the amendment of Sect 91j. It is apt in that someone who has served for two consecutive times as chairman or appointed should not contest in future council elections as a chairman. Ezeagu supports the amendment which is now paramount so that we can move Enugu State forward.
Other members who spoke aligned themselves with the amendment and the member representing Nsukka East, Hon Chinedu moved that the question be put. “The bill is not a contentious one. It is apt and timely. I move a motion that the question be put,” Nwamba said.
Amendment on the development areas was however passed with some objections and amendments here and there as some members pointed out that some communities were in their comstituency were omitted in the amended bill.
He spoke against the central local governments sharing headquarters with the development area councils saying that there was need to make them independent for easier identification and for development to permeate to the rural areas which is the reason for such creation.
Member representing Enugu North, Hon Philip Nnamani drew the attention of his colleagues to the confusion being created in his constituency as some communities in Udi Local Government Area want to belong to Enugu North. For instance, he said that Hill top Ngwo should belong to Udi instead of Enugu North since the boundary between Enugu North and Udi culminated at the foot of Enugwu Ngwo or Udi Hill as it is popularly known. He enumerated the areas that should be part of Enugu North to imclude Coal Camp, Ngenevu, Udi Siding, New Haven, Ogui New Layout, Asata, Independent Layout etc.
Speaking on the objection raised by Hon Nnamani, Speaker Ubosi said he was right for guiding the House approoriately saying that there was no way Umuchigbo, Iji Nike which is in Enugu East will come and lay claims to New Haven as part of Umuchigbo.
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