By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi
PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP in Benue State has lashed out at the Benue state chapters of the All Progressives Congress, APC and Labour Party, LP for accusing Governor Samuel Ortom and State Assembly Speaker, Titus Uba of being responsible for the failure of the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill.
PDP in a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Tuesday, said it is illogical for APC and LP to blame an action carried out under 23 APC controlled assemblies on PDP which controls 12 states.
Besides, Iortyom reminded APC and LP that Benue State House of Assembly that the state legislature had supported autonomy for the third tier in the last two attempts by voting in support of it.
“According to a March 5, 2018 report carried in Vanguard Newspaper, 15 different bills on constitution amendment were sent by Nigeria’s National Assembly to the 36 states houses of Assembly, including the Local Government Autonomy Bill, which only 10 states voted on, out of which 8, Kwara, Benue, Niger, Plateau, Bauchi, Cross River, Bayelsa and Ogun states, voted in support of, while 2, Edo and Imo states, rejected it.
“The report further averred that Lagos and Rivers states had not even worked on the Bill, while the remaining 24, which joined the other 10 states to transmit it to the National Assembly, said they had stepped the Bill down for further consultation.
“Leadership Newspaper on 21st August 2022 reported that the Local Government Autonomy Bill was again among 44 bills on constitution amendment sent by the National Assembly to the 36 states houses of Assembly, among which 10 states: Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Osun, Ogun, Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Kogi and Katsina passed it, with the remaining 26 states declining support for it.
“It is the position of Benue PDP that the local APC chapter, rather than play cheaply to the gallery, ought to hide its face in shame since the failure of the Bill to scale through the legislative processes across the country is wholly the failure of their party, and this is for the following reasons;
“The Bill which was for the third time in less than a decade sent to the 36 states houses of Assembly by Nigeria’s National Assembly in March this year was rejected by 26 out of the 36 states, yet according to LP, it is the Benue State Legislative Speaker, Engr. Uba, and Governor Ortom who are to blame.
“However, LP in its statement admitted that in the two previous attempts to get the Bill over the hurdle of assent by at least 24 out of the 36 states assemblies, the Benue State House of Assembly given assent to it.
“A quick question which inevitably comes up here is, who scuttled the success of the Bill on those two occasions that the Benue legislature gave it backing, Iortyom wondered.
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