For the two newly elected executive chairmen of the FCT area councils and four others, who had their mandates renewed through re-elections March this year, today, Monday the 20th of May, 2019, is their inauguration day. Taiye Odewale reports.
Area councils inaugurated today
As it is, in all democracies of the world, after elections, inauguration or swearing-in of the winners followed for whatever tenure specify by laws guiding the office such elections winners are to occupy.
While in Nigeria, for the offices of the president, legislative seats at both the states and the national levels as well as governorship positions are for four years tenure renewable only once in the case of the president and the governor, for area council chairmen and councillorship seats in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT, Abuja), it is three years in office renewable for whatever terms, office seekers enjoy mandates given to that effect by the electorates.
Explanatorily, while numbers of tenures of office are not specify for all the 78 office seekers for the available elective seats across the six area councils, i.e., Abuja Municipal (AMAC), Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abaji area councils, in the laws promulgated for their operations via democratic governance by the National Assembly in 2004, made it clear that any set of elected council chairmen and councilors, should spend three years in office which can, however, be renewed for as long as electorate want the office seekers remain in office.
Since the first set of political office seekers across the six area councils were sworn into office on the 20th of May, 2004, the date has since that time, remained the handover or mandate renewal day for elective office holders at that level, the tradition of which will play out today with the swearing in of elected executive chairmen of the councils by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Bello after which, the elected executive chairmen, will move to their various council headquarters for swearing ceremonies of their vice chairmen and elected councilors.
Those to be sworn-in
While such ceremonies may not be too elaborate in AMAC, Gwagwalada, Kwali and Abaji area councils because of re-election of incumbent executive chairmen along with their vice chairmen into office(s), it will be complete change of guard with attendant fanfares in Bwari and Kuje area councils where newly elected executive chairmen along with their vice chairmen, are assuming office.
The sitting executive chairmen who won reelection back into another round of three years tenure, are Hon Abdullahi Adamu Candido of the Abuja Municipal Area Council ( AMAC), Hon Adamu Danze of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon Danladi Chiya of Kwali Area Council and Hon Abdulrahaman Ajiya of Abaji Area Council, all on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC).
However for Bwari and Kuje Area Councils, it would be a different ball game of swearing in ceremonies as Hon John Shekwogaza Gabaya of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) who crushingly defeated Hon Musa Diko of the APC assumes office as Executive Chairman of Bwari Area Council ( BAC), the same way Hon Abdullahi Sabo of PDP who defeated Hon Abdullahi Galadima of the APC, takes charge in Kuje Area Council as executive chairman.
We’ll hit ground running
In separate interviews with the Blueprint Newspapers Saturday, the two newly elected council chairmen, vowed to hit the ground running in their various councils after swearing in ceremonies of today, in view of the fact that they defeated candidates of the ruling party in the March 9, 2019 election.
Specifically, Gabaya in his remarks during the telephone interview said “Performance is what Bwari electorates want as demonstrated with their votes in the last Area Council election and that is what I will surely give them.
“Myself, the vice chairman- elect (Alhaji Aminu Gumel), councilors- elect on the platform of the PDP and other party leaders in BAC, had promised the people of Bwari Area Council good governance if elected , they have elected us and we must deliver”.
He added that programmes cum policies that will give every segment of people residing in Bwari Area Council sense of belonging are being mapped out for implementation after the swearing in ceremonies this week.
According to him, governance at the grassroots requires inclusiveness of all critical stakeholders concerned, from the traditional, religious, socio- cultural and age groups set ups.
“In terms of infrastructure from primary health care centers, to functional boreholes, Schools, feeder roads, culverts and bridges at the hinterlands, Bwari area council under my administration, will deliver very heavily but inclusiveness of critical stakeholders in governance, will not be toyed with as everybody will be carried along, which will make election in 2022, a walkover for us “, he said.
Hon Sabo of Kuje Area Council in his own remarks on what to be expected from his administration after assuming office today said rural development and empowerment of different categories of stakeholders in the council will be given top priority.
“Kuje is an agrarian area, meaning that one of such critical stakeholders to be empowered will be farmers, the majority of whom are even aboriginal inhabitants.
“Apart from those categories of people, other electorate in other fields of human endeavours, will also be taken care of aside massive infrastructural development we shall put on ground across the ten wards of the area council.
However as the newly elected council chairmen are vowing to surpass their predecessors in performance in office, those who got re-elected for fresh term in office like Hon Adamu Candido of AMAC, Abdulrahaman Ajiya of Abaji, Adamu Danze of Gwagwalada and Danladi Chiya of Kwali Area Council, are vowing to further consolidate on achievements already recorded within the last three years.
The 78 elected political office holders across the six area councils are the six executive chairmen, six vice chairmen and 62 councilors from each of the 62 wards in FCT.
While Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abaji area councils have 10 wards each, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), has 12 wards.