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February 24, 2017

INTRODUCTION TO THE IMO STATE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY COUNCIL ADMINISTRATION

LAW OF 2012 WITH ANNOTATIONS

PART III: COMPOSITION OF AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ELECTION.

 

5.Every Autonomous Community Council shall consist of-

(a) the chairman (Eze of the Autonomous Community):

(b) the Secretary (Head of Town Union):

(b) the Woman Leader

(d) the youth Leader; and

(e) the Community Liaison Officer (CLO)

 

COMMENT:

 

S.5. Deals with the composition of the Autonomous Community Government Council which provides for the Chairman, the secretary, the woman leader, the youth leader and the Community liaison officer as members of the Community Council. The composition of the council is seemly fixed. This however does not imply that the various councils are precluded from employing the uses of committees, panels, and administrative staff to support the secretariat.

It also affirms that the town union is not the government of the community as in the time past but a component of the Community Governing Council which is now the legitimate government in control of the community with a broad based representation of the woman leader, youth leader, and the Community liaison officer, as the Council members.

For the first time, in the history of Community Administration, the traditional ruler superintends the Administration of a General administrative Council. This enables him to impact on traditional and modern administration of his Community. He is not a member of the town union which is represented in his Council but nevertheless the town union remains subject to him as the traditional ruler and Chairman of the Community Governing Council. See The Imo State Traditional Rulers and Autonomous Communities Law, 2006 (as amended)

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It appears from the composition of the council that the decisions of the component units of the council, the town union, and the women and youth groups are subject to the governing Councils. They cannot dictate to the council and are bound individually and collectively by the decisions of the Governing Council.

They can  however make individual representations to the Council for Consideration and decision. The ability of the Town Union to make decisions on behalf of the Community without  broad consultations has therefore been impinged. Nevertheless it remains the parliament of the people and the mouth piece of the common Assembly.

 

QUALIFICATION FOR CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL:

  1. (1) A person shall be qualified to hold the office of the chairman of the Community Council if he satisfies the provisions of law No. 6 of 2006 (as amended and is the Eze of his community;

(2) A person shall be qualified to hold the office of member of the Community Council in the case of a Secretary if he-

(a) is elected Secretary of the Community under this law;

(b) is an indigene of the Community;

(C) has attained the age of 35 years and a current financial member of the Town Union;

(d) has been educated up to a least the school certificate level or its equivalent; and

(e) he comes from a different village in the community with the Eze.

(3) A person shall be qualified to be member of the community council in the case of a Youth leader if he or she-

(a) Is an indigene of the community;

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(b) has attained the age of 25 years and is a current financial member of the Town Union;

(C) has been educated up to at least the school certificate level or its equivalent; and

(d) has been elected under this law.

(4) A person shall be qualified as a member of the Community Council in the case of a Woman leader if-

(a) she is elected under the this law;

(b) she has attained the age of 25 years;

(c) She has been educated up to at least the school certificate level or its equivalent; and

(d) she is married to the community.

(5) A person shall be qualified to be appointed by the Governor as a community liaison Officer (CLO)  if he or she-

(a) is an indigene of community;

(B) has attained the age of 25years and a current financial member of the Town Union

© has been educated up to at least the School Certificate level or its equivalent;

(d) is nominated by the Governor and such nomination is confirmed by the House of Assembly.

 

COMMENT:

This section deals with the required qualifications for the Chairman and members of the Community Governing Council. There are varied criteria for the various officers of the councils and the uses of the word “Shall” imply that they are mandatory qualifications necessary to hold Office.

In The time past, Community Administrations were in the hands of Community elders of proven integrity and wisdom. But integrity and wisdom are no longer sufficient to deal with the arising complexities of modern Town administration. Society is in a mercurial state of flux and change remains constant. Thus the leadership trend is of having literate leadership, of persons of proven maturity and responsibility.

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In this regard section 6 provides for the Qualification for the person seeking to be the Chairman and members of the Community Council. There are varied qualifications for the positions of the Chairman, Secretary, Women Leader and Youth Leader of the Community Council.

Indegeneship, Educational qualifications, age, and financial membership of the Community remain the fundamental criteria. However, the requirement of Indegeneship is not applicable for the position of a woman leader but under section 6 (4) (d) she is required to be married to the community. What does this curious clause mean?

The only commonsensical meaning one can attach to it is that the woman leader must be a person married to someone one is an indigene of the community. This therefore appears to exclude, indigenous women who are not married to indigenes of the community. Clearly, a single woman is excluded from holding the office of a woman leader. Can this not amount to discrimination against unmarried women in community administration.

 

To be contd.


 

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