NULGE urges Nigerians to vote out govs working against council autonomy
National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called on Nigerians to vote out any governor or political party that does not support, or is found to be working against local council autonomy.
The body also blamed growing insecurity in the country on the fact that councils’ autonomy has been muzzled, making them unable to function effectively, despite being the closest government to the people.
Speaking during the Conference of Presiding Officers of Nigeria’s Legislature, held at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, the union’s president, Olatunji Ambali, blamed most governors for the charade that often characterises council elections, even as he lamented that the helmsmen enjoy tampering with councils’ funds.
Ambali said the association was in Ibadan to specifically remind the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of the importance of council autonomy and stress that any governor opposed to it is doing so out of selfish interest.
He lamented that governors always like to plant their stooges and cronies as council chairmen, so that such person would not complain when council allocations are tampered with. According to him, the governor would quickly remind the stooge: “You didn’t win any election; I put you there.”
Ambali appealed to governors to be more transparent in the management of council funds, saying the current governance system they deliberately orchestrated has made local councils dysfunctional.
According to him, “If roads are bad, people think of the governor or commissioner for works. Local council can no longer perform its function on basic education as it was in the past, due to excesses and overbearing influence of governors. This must change, if Nigeria has to develop.”
He said part of the solution to insecurity is having a functional local council system.