Inspite of the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, which nullified the election of the newsly elected Council bosses of the 13 Local Government Areas of the State, Gov David Umahi, Thursday swore them into office against all odds.
Also sworn-in by the governor were 11 members of Local government Advisory Committee and 4 Senior Special Assistants.
The 4 appointed SSAs were immediate past Council Chairmen while the Advisory Committee members were the immediate past Vice Chairmen.
Addressing the new leaders and the mammoth crowd which gathered to witness the event at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, Gov Umahi expressed joy over the success of the event, describing it as victory for democracy and the rule of law.
He further expressed pride for handing over the leadership of the State to the youths, admonishing the Chairmen to continue to show respect and honour to the elders of the State.
“The youths, you will not retire us because old brooms still sweeps better than the new ones. Remember, we laid the foundation.”
The Governor emphasized that he decided to appoint the former Chairmen and their Vice as SSAs and members of the LG advisory Council in line with his vow to continue with all his faithful lieutenants to the end.
“Let me congratulate all the out gone chairmen. You entered for a two year tenure, and your two year tenure elapsed yesterday. And for the new Chairmen, your tenure is also two years.
“About 7 of the outgone chairmen are holding either the Senate ticket, House of representatives or the House of Assembly. So you can see that APC is very progressive, and we are people who reward loyalty.
“All the people that came with us in 2015, they will continue with me to 2023 and those who are going forward to higher positions, we will continue. But one thing is very certain, I have given the youths the leadership of the State.”
The governor stated that six more members would be appointed, two from each senatorial district to make up the 17 member constitutional requirement for the LG Advisory council.
He further instructed the chairmen to swear-in the Councillors on Friday in their various council headquarters.
Laying the background for the ceremony, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon Justice, Cletus Ofoke, noted that the event has the backing of all legal provisions, emphasizing that there were so far, no positive legal opposition to the inauguration event.
Speaking on behalf of the others, the newly sworn-in chairman of Ezza- North Council area, Chief Moses Ogodoali, pledged to work assiduously to project and protect the mandate of the All Progressives Congress in the state.