Umuahia — Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has said no local government election would be conducted in the state until the mess created by the last council chairmen were cleared and the system sanitised
Orji, who spoke while swearing-in new set of local government transition committee chairmen in Umuahia, said the past council chairmen accumulated a wage bill of N29 billion in salary arrrears.
According to him, the past chairmen were insensitive to the plight of local government council workers.
He said some local government councils such as Aba North, owed their workers over 10 months without any tangible reasons, even as there were no projects to justify money allocated to them.
The governor said he had been able to clear the backlog of salary arrears left by the past council chairmen and was trying to stabilise the system before the elections.
He also said the government wanted to conclude a comprehensive biometric data of local government workers, which was highly infested with ghost workers, which some council workers used to defraud the government.
Governor Orji said the state government wanted to sanitize the council system by getting the accurate number of work force in the system, block all loopholes through which government fund was syphoned.
Besides the problems in the council which are being corrected, the governor also said the government was working hard to adequately fund the state electoral commission [ABSIEC] to enable it conduct credible council elections.
It would be recalled that the governor had last year announced that council elections would be conducted this month.
However, the state house of assembly disagreed, saying the state electoral commission was not prepared as it had no budget for the election at present.