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Protest In Abuja Over Council Chairmen Tenure Extension

Hundreds of residents of the Abuja Municipal Area Council have shut down the office of Malam Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and the FCT Administration Secretariat over the inauguration of the new elected council chairmen and councillors.

On Thursday, the administration announced the suspension of the inauguration, citing the ruling of an FCT High Court.

Our correspondent reports that one of the outgoing chairmen had approached the court to seek tenure extension by one year in accordance with the new Electoral Act which stipulates four-year term for area council chairmen in the FCT.

The court had subsequently ruled in his favour.

In his reaction, the FCT minister had said as law abiding administration, the FCTA would abide by the ruling.

But residents, in their hundreds, stormed the Minister’s office on Friday and demanded the immediate swearing in of the elected council officials.

One of the protesters. John Shaghayi, said such court ruling could not stand, saying the new Electoral Act came to effect long after the outgoing chairmen were elected.

Recall that the tenure of the outgoing council officials ought to end on Friday while the newly elected officials were to be inaugurated same day.

The new six area council chairmen and their 62 councillors were elected in February.

Meanwhile, Displeased by the extension, residents in the Gwagwalada Area Council on Friday morning took to the streets.

The residents, who barricaded the roads and made bonfires, are demanding a reversal of the decision.

The incident, it was gathered, obstructed vehicular movements in the area.

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