NULGE cautions APC against removing LGs from constitution

NULGE president, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against delisting local governments from the constitution as recommended by its ad-hoc committee on restructuring.

Its National President, Ibrahim Khaleel said in Abuja yesterday that the move would hinder development at the grassroots level.

He argued that some groups within the party were pushing the delisting agenda and called on the party to reject the section of the Nasir el-Rufai’s committee that recommended the expulsion of local governments from the constitution.

His words: “We see this as a predetermined position of some cabals in the party and not the position of Nigerians. We call on the party leadership to trash the report and not to dissipate energy over it.”

Khaleel argued that separation of powers was intertwined with local government autonomy and as such, government should devolve more powers to the grassroots level to boost economic development and growth.

He further noted that an exercise in 2013 by the seventh National Assembly when 327 out 360 federal constituencies endorsed local councils autonomy showed that most Nigerians prefer a functional local government system.

“Also, the eighth National Assembly had already passed the bill to make local government more independent based on the aspirations of Nigerians. Now that the bill had been transmitted to states Houses of Assembly, some governors are ganging up to hijack the process at their level.

“This aspect of the recommendation is just an attempt to hijack and divert the on-going process of the constitutional amendment process awaiting action of the states Houses of Assembly,” he stated.

The NULGE boss lauded governors, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ben Ayade of Cross River and Mohammed Abdullahi of Bauchi and their states Houses of Assembly for adopting the bills for local government autonomy after conducting public hearings on it in the Houses.

Khaleel said the union would not hesitate to mobilise its five million members across the country to vote against governors and other elected officials that stand in the way of local government autonomy.



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