Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, on Monday, swore in Uloma Nwogu as the new chairperson of the state’s Obingwa local government area.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that Ms. Nwogu was the vice president of the council before her promotion.
He was sworn in in the context of former President Ibe Nwoko’s defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
Mr. Nwoko left the PDP for the YPP, where he got the ballot to run for the House of Representatives from the Osisioma/Ugwunagbo/Obingwa Federal Constituency.
In a speech during the inauguration, Mr. Ikpeazu charged the new president with protecting the interests of women and youth in the area.
He also charged him with protecting the interests of the people of Obingwa and Abia.
Ikpeazu further commissioned him to develop programs and policies that would outlast his term.
The governor said that the state government was committed to deepening democracy through the participation of youth and women in government at the local government level.
He gave the reasons for swearing in Ms. Nwogu, saying that the position became vacant after Mr. Nwoko’s resignation.
He said, “I received a letter dated May 23, titled: ‘Resignation of my party membership’ from Nwoko.
“Under the Laws Governing Local Governments in Abia, the consequence of the letter is that it has breached the provisions of Section 23(1) of the Local Government Act 2006.
“This makes it imperative that a new president be sworn in to take over spheres of power at that level, as the former president had decided to pursue his political career on another platform.”
In response, Ms. Nwogu thanked the state government for the opportunity given to her to serve and contribute to the development of the state.
He promised to fulfill his duties diligently to facilitate the socio-economic development of the area and the state in general.
Information and Strategy Commissioner Chikamnayo Eze said the law states that defecting from the party in which a municipal office holder was elected is equivalent to losing one’s position.
Mr Eze said: “Every action has consequences and in this case there are constitutional consequences which are enshrined in the Local Governments Act 2006 in Abia.
“It is an explicit law. It has been constitutionally tested by the court all the way to the Supreme Court, which decided that the votes obtained in an election belonged to the party.”
NAN reports that the two-year term of the current local government administration in the state would expire on December 21.