Ahmed Marafa Guni

By Akawu Ibrahim

Former speaker of Niger State House of Assembly and member representing Chanchaga constituency, Hon. Ahmed Marafa Guni has said that the political crisis that led to the suspension of Chanchaga Local Government Council Chairman, Ibrahim Abubakar Lalalo, , would soon be resolved.

Hon. Marafa, who spoke to Newsline online in an exclusive interview, said they understood the grievances of the councillors and reasons why they took the action, adding that talks on resolving the matter had reached an advanced stage.

He said he was personally concerned and worried with what was going on in his local government, disclosing that “some credible stakeholders”  in the area have all come together to find a middle ground to reconcile both parties.

He said he would not like to blame anybody, but he expected that what happened to the chairman, Ibrahim Lalalo, should serve as a big lesson to him, saying “the councillors have a point to prove by their action. Their action was supposed to be a wake-up call to the chairman to live up to his responsibilities. I believe the chairman had learnt a tremendous lesson from his suspension and he will go back to amend his ways.”

When asked that he was the one that helped installed the chairman, Hon. Marafa said although he played a role, it was God who gave him (chairman) the seat. He added that he does not dictate to anyone on how the local government should be run.

Hon. Marafa faulted some people who thought the suspension by the councillors was to take over the local government; pointing out that their action was not a coup, but a manifestation of the leadership deficit in the local government.

He said “by this decision of the legislative council, some fear that the councillors staged a coup against the chairman and his vice chairman so that they can take control of the local government. But that’s not true. My worry is that with the ovation that greeted their action, they may begin to feel that way.”

He said the intervention of some credible stakeholders, who were going round to meet the councillors, begging them to give the chairman a second chance, was yielding results. 

When asked that some people feared that the chairman wouldn’t change his attitudes even after getting a second chance, Hon. Marafa said human beings were unpredictable. However, he insisted that the chairman should be given a second chance because the acts of the councillors should have thought him a big lesson.

He said “this matter had sent a strong signal to him that he should retrace his steps and do the right thing and bring himself closer to the people. It was a serious caution to him. But if he refused to change, which I believed he will if given a second chance, then what ever happens to him again, is his cup of tea.”