By, Nick Dugba
Taraba State House of Assembly had, Tuesday, debated on the Taraba State Local Government Law Amendment Bill 2000, which was sent to it for passage by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.
The House had received an Executive Bill earlier on which seeks to amend the principal law by reducing the tenure of local government Chairmen and Councilors in the state from three to two years, which was considered for first reading.
In a plenary held Tuesday, and presided over by Speaker of the House, Abel Peter Diah, considered the Bill for second reading and was subsequently debated upon.
Leading the debate, Majority Leader of the House, Joseph Albasu Kunini, stated that due to exigencies, the tenure of local governments was reduced to two years.
According to Mark Useni, PDP, Takum 2, the amendment was in the spirit of the constitution, while his counterpart representing Takum 1, Hosea Ibi, stated that due to the peculiarities in the state, the two years was okay and that the short tenure was enough for any Chairman to deliver.
Also, Josiah Aji, PDP, Wukari 1 and Mohammed Abdulkarim, PDP, Ibi, who spoke in their capacity as former Chairmen, argued that the brief tenure was not an excuse for any Chairman not to perform citing past administrations who distinguished themselves under a short period.
According to Aji, everything bows down to preparedness and that the short tenure was supposed to ginger any Chairman desirous to serve.
However, Charles Maijankai, PDP, Karim 1 constituency, opposed the Bill on the basis of tenure, saying the House should amend a law that would ‘stand the test of time’ as members of the House could be beneficiaries of the Law they are amending. According to Maijankai, two years was inadequate for a Chairman to deliver.
He said, due to the economic crunch, it would be unwise to conduct local government elections at short intervals considering the huge funding involved.
In a similar vein, the Taraba state Independent Electoral Commission Amendment Law , 2015, passed through second reading, but was not debated upon because the subject therein was similar to the Local Government Law considered earlier on.
The House agreed in that respect, and both Laws were then referred to the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for further deliberations and were given one week to submit its report.
In another development, the House has considered the Debt Management Office Establishment Bill 2016, sponsored by the Speaker, Abel Peter Diah.
The Bill was laid before the House and then referred to the Business and Rules Committee for further deliberations and consideration of the general principles on the next legislative day.
Meanwhile, the House has proceeded on recess and would resume on 4th October 2016.