A power tussle is currently rocking the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), following the refusal to relinquish office and several antics of Gambo Tanko Kagara, the immediate past National President of the association, and his group.
SaharaReporters reliably gathered that the tenure of the Kagara-led administration — Kagara was until now the Chairman of Rafi Local Government Area, Niger State — elapsed February 12, 2019, following the dissolution of council administration in the state. But he has refused to leave as the ALGON National President.
It was learnt that following expiration of his tenure as ALGON President and as Rafi LGA Chairman, a new leadership, the Transition Management Committee (TMC), under the leadership of Odunayo Ategbero, was set up to man the affairs of the association, pending when a substantive leadership would be put in place.
According to sources who spoke to our correspondent, Kagara has called a NEC meeting of the association for Tuesday when, constitutionally, he no longer has the right to call for any meeting of the association, as that is the exclusive and constitutional right of the newly constituted Transition Management Committee.
Confirming the planned NEC meeting, Ategbero stressed that only the TMC has the constitutional powers to do so.
Meanwhile, in a press statement obtained by SaharaReporters, and titled ‘Only The Transition Management Committee Has the Mandate to Call ALGON NEC Meeting’, the association admonished its members and the general public to disregard any NEC meeting convened by Kagara.
The statement was signed by Ategbero; Itiako Ikpokpo, Chairman, ALGON Delta State (South South); Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe, Chairman, ALGON Zamfara State (North West); Kolade Alabi, Chairman, ALGON Lagos State (South West); Sani Dogarai, Chairman, ALGON Gombe State (North East), and Taofiq Isah, Chairman, ALGON Kogi State (North Central.
The statement read: “The general public, especially members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), is hereby notified that only the recently constituted Transition Management Committee under the leadership of Hon. Odunayo Ategbero (JP) has the mandate to summon the NEC meeting of ALGON.
“This clarification has become expedient in view of the several antics of the immediate past National President of ALGON, Hon. Gambo Tanko Kagara, to continue to hold onto power, the most recent being the attempt to summon the NEC meeting of the association for Tuesday 19th February, 2019.
“The prerequisite for ALGON membership is first being a local government chairman/administrator. Hence, the dissolution of the twenty-five local government administrations in Niger State by the state government on February 12th affected the immediate past President of ALGON, who until the dissolution was the Chairman of Rafi Local Government of the state. He has, therefore, ceased to be a member of ALGON or any of its organs.
“The constitutional provision under which the Deputy President, Hon. S. Amaechi, could have taken over cannot be implemented as Hon. Amaechi has also left office as a local government chairman since December, 2018. As a way out of the sudden leadership vacuum, the association in obedience to section 17.1 of its constitution therefore constituted a 21-man Transition Management Committee (TMC) with Hon. Odunayo Atebgero, a member of ALGON’s Board of Incorporated Trustees, representing the South West, as Chairman.
“The TMC is to oversee the movable and immovable assets of the association for the time being and to conduct elections to fill all vacant positions within sixty days from the day of its inauguration. The planned emergency NEC meeting by the erstwhile National President is, therefore, a distraction and outrightly unconstitutional. Upon his removal as Chairman of Rafi Local Government, Hon. Kagara no longer has constitutional powers to preside or participate as a member in a meeting of ALGON.
“It is worthy to note that there is no emergency whatsoever as the TMC, upon its constitution, resolved that all members of ALGON NEC should take time out to participate actively in the 2019 general elections. TMC is to reconvene after the national elections to set out modalities for election to fill its vacant positions. The Secretary General of ALGON must therefore take cognizance of the change in the leadership of the association. Her loyalty must therefore be to the leadership of the ALGON NEC.
“The challenge before ALGON today is how to strengthen local government administration in the country. Chairmen of local governments must therefore rise to the occasion and avoid all forms of divisionary tendencies and extraneous manipulations aimed at strangulating the local government system.”