From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has said that pushing power to the Local Government, is the real restructuring that the nation needs.
The Union argued that local government autonomy is not a routine but bold achievable step to strengthen the country.
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This was contained in a statement issued by NULGE National President, Ambali Olatunji recently in Abuja.
The Union further condemned the negative position of governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ekiti and the Ondo states, respectively, for opposing the local government autonomy.
It said the two South-West governors were the major problem behind the realisation of both political and financial autonomy for the third tier of government in the country.
The labour group however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa State, as well as other governors for openly supporting local government autonomy, NULGE warned Fayemi and Akeredolu not to send a wrong signal indicating that the current administration was not capable of handling the problems of the local governments.
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Fayemi, had during the opening session of a two-day multi-stakeholders’ meeting for the furtherance of peace and inclusive security in Nigeria organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development, in Abuja recently, condemned calls for local government autonomy, saying the issues about the third tier of government should be left to the states to decide.
The statement read in parts, “Those who clamour for restructuring and dissolution of powers should know that the real restructuring that Nigerians need should be for the interest of Nigeria i.e. power should be pushed to where people reside, which is the Local Government.
“It has been discovered that the ruling party under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari meant well for Nigeria with members of the National Assembly condemning theft and criminality done to the Local Government. The sudden outburst of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Akeredolu Rotimi against Local Government Autonomy is unpatriotic, self-serving and anti-people. “We advise that the ruling party should concentrate on providing the dividends of democracy and good Governance to their people, offsetting backlogs of unpaid salaries of which the funds are yet to be accounted for in their States. The neglect of rural roads in these two states should be their utmost concern, where kidnapping and insecurity has become the order of the day.
“We must commend His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, his counterpart, Governor Badaru and so many other Governors for openly supporting Local Government Autonomy. And equally appeal to the Governors of Ekiti and Ondo States not to send a wrong signal as if the ruling government is not capable of handling the problems of Local Government.
“In conclusion, we also agreed that a functional financial and administrative Local Government as a third tier of Government in Nigeria will douse the clamoring of regional restructuring and myriad of problems confronting Nigeria.”