Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, has criticized State Governors for refusing to support Local Government Autonomy, describing them as enemies of the masses.
NULGE traced Nigeria’s hydra-headed problems of banditry, terrorism, killings, unemployment, hunger, kidnappings, insurgency and drug abuse being perpetrated by youths to neglect of the local government by successive governments.
The NULGE President in Ekiti, Mr Babatunde Olatunde, said this in Ado Ekiti at a media parley sponsored to galvanize support for the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill before state assemblies.
Mr Olatunde said: “Governors opposing full autonomy for our 774 councils are doing so for selfish reasons, and I consider them as enemies of the people, enemies of our nation”.
“The Holy Bible says when the foundation is destroyed, what would the righteous do? The local government system has been relegated. No wonder our youths are engaging in ritual killings, banditry, kidnappings and yahoo-yahoo because the foundation upon which we are built had been destroyed.
“The continued challenges of insecurity, insurgency, and corruption are largely traced to the systematic destruction of the local governments. All these social vices staring us in the face were not there before 1999. The only antidote to all these is local government autonomy”.
“It is time the cord, connecting Local Governments to states, be cut off, so that they can enjoy financial autonomy to be able to meet the needs of the people”.
“Enough of not respecting the tenure of council officials, enough of local governments not having the full financial benefit of their monthly allocations. 75 per cent of the people live in the rural areas and that should be a basis for our councils to be fully operational”.
“The bill is now at the doorstep of the Houses of Assembly; we are crying loud and clear that they should pass it in the interest of over 75 percent living in the rural areas. They should come to the aid of Nigerians. We are not here talking about salary increment, but talking about how to fix Nigeria.”