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NULGE lauds National Assembly for passing LG autonomy bill

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NULGE


Slams Senate for rejecting e-transmission of poll results

The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has commended the National Assembly for passing the local council autonomy bill.

NULGE also appealed to Nigerian governors to prevail on their Houses of Assembly to pass the bill, to end poverty and insecurity in the country.

But it faulted the Senate for opposing electronic transmission of election results. The National Vice Chairman of NULGE, North East Zone, Emmanuel Fashe, told newsmen, yesterday, in Yola, Adamawa State, that lack of funds crippled the major constitutional duties of local councils of fighting crime at the grassroots.

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According to Fashe, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Adamawa, local council officials are closer to the people at the grassroots level and can easily identify the criminals in their areas.

He expressed confident that with the recent messages coming from the governors supporting the autonomy of local councils, the past glory of the councils would soon return.

The NULGE boss stated that for the autonomy to be effective, the State Independent Election Commissions (SIECs) should be scrapped for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take over conduct of council elections, to ensure transparency and avoid state governors from interfering in council polls.

Commending Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa for prompt payment of council workers’ salaries, he condemned the attitude of some governors that were not paying his members.

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On the Senate’s decision not to allow INEC to transmit election results electronically, Fashe urged the red chamber not to take the country backwards, but move forward by embracing modern technology in the conduct of polls to eliminate sharp practices.

He stated that apart from checking election rigging, electronic transmission of results would save cost of transporting result by road and help the electoral umpire to announce results on time.

“There will be no ballot snatching. Those hiring thugs to snatch election results will be frustrated and court cases will also reduce when there is transparency in the conduct of polls,” he stated.

Appealing to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevail on its members in the Senate to leave a legacy by approving electronic transmission of election results, he added: “INEC said that it has the capacity to transmit election results electronically; so why is it that the Senate that is supposed to defend democracy by adopting a process that will bring sanity to our country’s election against a transparent system? INEC should be allowed to do its jobs. It may not be 100 per cent; but if the commission gets 70 to 80 per cent, it is a welcome development.”

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