The Benue State Government said on Tuesday that it plans to conduct election into local government councils in the state on November 30, Concise News reports.
Governor Samuel Ortom made the revelation 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 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 November 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.
Ortom tells vigilante to stay within areas of engagement
In related news, Governor Ortom has urged Benue Vigilante Group not to go outside their area of engagement during operations.
Ortom disclosed this on Tuesday during the inauguration of 14 patrol vehicles purchased by the group in Makurdi.
He said the vigilante should always abide by law and work in harmony with the conventional security outfits.
Ortom said that the state has resolved to eliminate kidnapping, armed robbery and assassinations for peace and development to flourish.
He further tasked the vigilante to work with traditional rulers in effectively mitigating criminality in the state.
Ortom urged other government officials to be prudent and learn from the leadership attributes of George Mbessey-led vigilante group.
The State Commander of the group, George Mbessey, said the vehicles were purchased from the monthly stipends released to them by the governor during the herders crisis.
Mbessey further commended the governor for his support to the group and pledged to ensure that crime was reduced to the barest minimum.