*says LGs remain most potent instrument to mobilize people for local participation, spread of democratic values
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Chief Judge of Kaduna State, Justice Mohammed Lawal Bello while explaining what is contained in the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM) Law, has listed out those qualified to contest for chairmanship of local government areas of the state.
The Chief Judge spelt this out while delivering an address at the workshop on Electoral Legal and Regulatory Framework For Local Government Councils in Kaduna State in Zaria recently.
According to the Chief Judge who was represented by Kabir J. Dabo, to be qualified to contest for local government election, the candidate must be first a Nigerian citizen.
He explained that he or she must also be a registered voter, has attained 30 years and educated up to at least secondary school certificate level or its equivalent.
According to him, the candidate must also be a member of a political party and is sponsored by the party.
Furthermore, he explained that such a candidate must pay nomination fees fixed by the commission and produce evidence of tax payment for a period of three years.
On what disqualifies a candidate, he said that anyone who has acquired citizenship of a country other than Nigeria, stands disqualified.
“Adjudged to be a lunatic or of unsound mind, under a sentence of death, found guilty by a court of law for an offend involving dishonesty, fraud corruption within a period less than 10 years. Also found guilty by code of conduct tribunal,” he said.
He added that anyone employed in the public service that has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employed 30 days before the date of election also stands disqualified.
“Dismissed from public service of the federation, state or local government, has been elected to such office at any two previous elections in the case of chairman,” he added, also are not qualified to contest local government elections.
He described the local government as a fundamental to democratic process, adding that it remains the most potent instrument to mobilize people for local participation and spread of democratic values.
“The local government plays a variety of roles in the provision of basic social amenities, mass mobilization and accelerating economic development at the grassroots,” he added.
He said that in view of the above, elected local council members must live up to the responsibility given to them by the constitution of Nigeria and the relevant laws.
“They must be responsive to the people who elected them otherwise their mandate will not be renewed by the people,” he advised.
The workshop was organized by KAD-SIECOM for the officials of the 23 local councils in the state.