The incoming governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti may contend with several factors when sworn-in, including local government chairmen and councilors of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ABN TV reports.
The incumbent governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has since February hinted that his administration will conduct another election before the May 29 expiration of his tenure.
ABN TV gathered that the state electoral management body, the ABSIEC had fixed the local government election for April 28, about a month before the current administration bows out of office.
Local government elections in Nigeria are dominated by the party in government at the state level with minimal chances of the opposition to grab some chairmanship and councilorship slots.
If antecedents of Abia local government elections since 1999 PDP has been in power takes places in the April 28 council polls, the Labour Party administration of incoming governor Otti may have to work with the local government chairmen and councilors of the opposition.
Some analysts have also condemned the last minute local government elections, saying it is a ploy by the outgoing government to reward political loyalists with chairmanship and councilorship positions.
The Labour Party has not commented on the planned local government election.
The PDP has since rolled out the timetable for the conduct of the election. Purchase of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for Chairman and Councilors took place from Thursday 23/02/2023 – Friday 03/3/2023.
Filling And Returning of Form for Chairmanship and councilorship aspirants ended Thursday March 9th 2023.
Candidates have since emerged while campaigns commenced on Wednesday 29/3/2023 ahead of the April election.
It is not clear how many political parties that will be testing their popularity at the election.
On the other hand, an Abia State High Court Arochukwu Division has granted an interim injunction restraining the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) and Abia State government from conducting the election.
The court presided over by Justice Benson C. Anya granted the order in a suit filed by Engr. Nwabueze Onwuneme (Suit No: HAR /8/2023) with Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) chairman, Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, Attorney General of Abia State, and Governor of Abia State as defendants.
The exparte order was granted on the 23rd of March 2023, and the suit was adjourned to the 23rd of April 2023 for the motion on notice.