By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Elected local government chairman in Zamfara state who were relieved of their positions by Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle have vowed to challenge their removal in court.
Recall that Governor Matawalle recently dissolved all the 14 local government council chairmen but later reappointed eight and dropped six.
The eight local council chairmen who have been reappointed had earlier defected from the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); while the six who stayed put in APC and refused to cross carpet to the PDP were sacked.
Those sacked were the chairmen of Gusau, Mafara, Bakura, Maradun, Gumi and Shinkafi local governemnt areas. .
One of the affected council chairmen, Alhaji Babangida Abdullahi, who disclosed their intention to seek redress in court, told newsmen Wednesday in Abuja that their removal from office was illegal and unconstitutional.
Abdullahi, who was the chairman of Gusau LGA before his removal lamented that the resolution of the State House, which the governor relied on to remove them from office was most undemocratic and autocratic.
He said they were accused of mismanagement of funds, yet the state assembly neither probed them or even invited them for questioning but decided to take the laws into their hands.
” The whole thing is about our refusal to dump the APC for the PDP. The State Assembly, which is wholly PDP chose to victimize us. After accusing us of financial mismanagement, no one ever presented any petition to us, or invited us to face any panel and defend ourselves. The next thing was they removed us from office.
” We were 14 local government chairmen and the whole drama took place in less than 12 hours. We were sacked and a caretaker committee were were announced and inaugurated in less than 12 hours.
“What is the criteria used in reappointing the eight chairmen as caretaker chairrmen? The simple reason is that they have defected to the PDP, but the six of us, who refused to be bought over were sacked when our tenure has not elapsed.
“This injustice and undemocratic attitude of Governot Matawalle led PDP government cannot stand and we must pursue it to the final court in the land. The rule of law must take its course, and we must be reinstated to complete our tenure. We were democratically elected and cannot be sacked by wave of the hand”, Abdullahi declared.
According to Abdullahi, Governor Matawalle, who is a product of the rule of law must not to stand the law on its head. ‘We are surprised that Governor Bello Matawalle, who got his mandate at the Suoreme Court courtesy of the rule of law will so blatantly violate the constitution of the country. If not for the law, he would not be governor today. Therefore, we call on him to rescind his decision and act in consonance with the laws of the land.
Abdullahi maintained that the action was against the provisions of the relevant aecrions of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and should not be allowed to stand.