‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – Residents of the Federal Capital Territory on Friday protested against the extension of the tenure of the six area council chairmen and councillors.
Daily Courier reports that the term in office of the chairmen and councillors elapsed on Thursday and the newly-elected officials were to be sworn in on Friday.
FCT Minister suspends inauguration of area council chairmen, councillors
But the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, citing a court judgement which extended the official tenure by one year, suspended the inauguration.
Displeased by the extension, residents of Giri in the Gwagwalada Area Council on Friday took to the streets.
They barricaded roads and made bonfires, hindering vehicular movements along the Gwagwalada Zuba Expressway.
Our correspondent gathered that it took the intervention of the security agencies who shot in the air to disperse the protesters in Gwagwalada.
Some of the protesters were also at the minister’s office at the Federal Capital Territory Administration to express their displeasure over the matter. The protest, it was gathered, disrupted vehicular movements and other activities at the secretariat.
Our correspondent further learnt that another group of protesters was seen at an FCT magistrates’ court in Zone 3 bearing placards with inscriptions such as ‘No tenure elongation,’ ‘Stop manipulating the minister,’ and ‘Give us true justice,’ among others.
The protesters demanded a reversal of the extension and the immediate resumption of office for the newly elected officials across the area councils.
“We see what they have done as a means of manipulating the will of the residents. Without going to law school, we all know that it is never possible for the old chairmen and councillors, whose tenures have expired, to enjoy the provisions of a new law. We have voted and chosen who we want to lead us; the Independent National Electoral Commission has announced them as winners.