The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Anambra State has expressed dismay over states frustrating passsage of autonomy bill targeted at liberating the third tie of government.
President of the body, Chikwelu Adigwe who stated this on Wednesday in a press briefing, regretted that only ten states had passed the bill, whereas the bill required minimum of 24 states to receive assent.
He particularly mentioned Lagos and Ekiti as two states that were antithetical to the bill, urging members to vote them out at the 2023 general elections.
He however appreciated states that have passed the bill namely Abia, Kogi, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Enugu, Edo, Ogun, Osun and Anambra, just as he commended their various executive and legislative leaderships for their support.
He said, “We want to appeal to States of Assembly, traditional rulers and indeed Nigerians to urge other states yet to join in the league of passing autonomy bill to follow suit for the liberation of third tie of government.
“Most problems we have in Nigeria, including insecurity and unemployment have their origin from Local Government administration, partly because governors view the local government as their personal enterprises.
“They not only end up crippling the system, but make it redundant and ineffective, thereby creating hardship for workers. Regrettably, the same governors who oppose autonomy while on seat will start championing same once they find themselves at the National Assembly.
“We had the Governors’ forum chairman, Kayode Fayemi during a meeting with the speakers urging them to truncate the autonomy. Let him tell Nigerians why he wants to truncate government at the grassroots.
“NULGE is not also happy with Lagos, Ekiti and other states still contemplating. I believe what made Lagos what it is today is the LG administration. We appeal to our members in those states to vote out government in power in the next election. Let’s send them the message with our votes.
“This autonomy battle is not meant for the workers alone to champion. Let the lawmakers be true representatives of the people and not themselves so we can have the 24 states required for the legal backing.”
Attributing alleged corrupt and non-viability of local government system to paucity of funds, Adigwe assured that such accusations would be history if local government leadership was adequately funded and given free hands to function as enshrined in the constitution.