The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara State has asked Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and members of the state House of Assembly to speed up the process required for total autonomy of local government system in the state.
It said the local government as constitutionally recognized third tier of government should be independent in administrative and financing.
Th state President of NULGE, Comrade Oyinlade Seun Adeleye, who stated this at a press conference in Ilorin yesterday, urged Governor AbdulRazaq to break his seeming silence on the vexed issue of local government autonomy.
Adeleye, who described local government autonomy as the catalyst to security of lives and property and development at the grass roots, maintained that the third tier of government cannot be an appendage of the state government.
“It is our plea to Kwara State Governor to, in conjunction with the state House of Assembly, expeditiously speed up the process required for Kwara to be listed among comity of States that respect the wishes of the people at the grass roots, which local government autonomy symbolises.
“We also wish to use this opportunity to call on the Governor of Kwara State to break his long silence on the vexed issue of local government autonomy. Our Governor must rise and invest in the trust of the Kwarans majority to write his name in gold, by aligning himself with true democrats and progressives.
“Local government autonomy is the catalyst to the development. We are talking about security situation; food security and even human security. If the local government autonomy is in place, all these things will be very easy. We are not an appendage of the state government.
“The law recognizes us as the third tier of government. All what we are doing is for the benefit of the generality of everybody. It is not to our own benefit because we want development at the grass roots level,” he said.
The state NULGE President also warned members of the state House of Assembly opposing the autonomy of the local government, saying that members of the union would mobilise against them in the forthcoming general elections.
Adeleye also told the lawmakers not to pay lip service to the autonomy of local government system because people at the grass roots deserve quality life.
He added, “This is the right time to do the needful, because this is when they can listen to us. They need us very much now. If they (Members of the State House of Assembly) decided not to vote for local government autonomy, we will also decide not to vote for them. They need us now, and we all belong to wards and polling booths. We are going to show and prove our worth to them.”