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NULGE threatens strike over move to outlaw councils

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The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), yesterday, threatened a nationwide strike if local governments are deleted from the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

During a press briefing yesterday in Enugu, NULGE’s National President, Ambali Olatunji, threatened: “We, therefore, call on the National Assembly to retrace its step, but if this call fails, then strike will be our next option.”

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He canvassed a sustainable local government policy to address crimes instead of state policy advocacy.

Olatunji pleaded with the National Assembly to stop work on the project, challenging it to deepen democracy by granting financial and political autonomy to the third tier of government.

The NULGE boss warned that the move endangers the nation’s fledgling democracy.

He regretted that the sponsor of the bill, Bob Solomon, was “trained with proceeds from local government administration and yet making an effort to kill the system.”

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Olatunji argued that the local government system was not the problem of Nigeria, but the “endemic corruption sweeping across the executive and legislative arms of government, whereby the constitutional functions of the third tier have been annexed by the state governors in liaison with state House of Assembly members.”

He went on: “We woke up to hear that the National Assembly is deliberating to emasculate the local government system, and we are saying that if NULGE is not invited to the National Assembly to make its presentation, we will commence an action. There will be protests in Abuja and every part of this country. We thought that the National Assembly members were representing us, but now we know better.

“What is needed is to deepen democracy at the local government level. The states have usurped local government functions and sources of revenue. Anybody trying to kill the local government system is equally trying to kill his own future.”

Olatunji charged members to pressure their representatives into halting the entire exercise.

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