Barely one week after President Goodluck Jonathan slammed the northern governors over the spate of insecurity in some parts of the region, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) is also putting the blame at the doorsteps of the affected state chief executives.
This, NULGE explained is because of the alleged corrupt leadership style of the governors from the region.
National President of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel who declared this to journalists in Abuja, said it was unfortunate that most governors in the region do not allow election in local governments, a development he claimed, “leads to rancour and insurgency.
“If you go round, especially in the northern parts of this country, you will realise that majority of the governors do not allow election into the local government councils and that is why, there is rancour, insecurity and absence of governance in all nooks and crannies of this country because the governors of the region hijack the entire system for their own political selfishness.”
The labour leader also wondered why sometimes governors, particularly from the Northern states, often frequent Abuja only to challenge the federal government on some alleged constitutional breaches, leaving the business of governance at their various states to suffer.
He said such governors should ask themselves how they are handling the issue of local government and whether or not they allowed free and fair election in all the communities in their states.
“Did they allow or release the money appropriated for local governments within the state for the development of rural areas? Did they actually embrace all the communities in their states?” he queried.
“That is why the struggle for getting into the Government Houses is becoming something else because every community believes that if the governor is not one of their own, then such community is practically shortchanged.
“You will see that some governors are beautifying their own communities at the detriment of other communities. This is injustice and must be addressed. I believe the failure of local governments is due to the control of this tier of government by the state government,” the NULGE leader added.
Khaleel, who is delegate at the ongoing National Dialogue, expressed the hope that the confab would address growing crisis in the country, which according to him, is as a result of the disconnect between the government and people at the grassroots.
On the merits and demerits of both presidential and parliamentary systems of government, he is of the view that none can work in Nigeria, stressing that “we are neither Americans nor British, so let come with a unique system of government that would work for us.”
He also commended the federal government for the prompt release of monthly allocation to both state and local governments even though there were still issues with regard to declaring complete revenue generated for the federation.
He said: “I believe the Federal Government even though it has several issues that need urgent attention, it is doing well. It releases the funds for state and local governments each month even though some months, we believe that there are still issues with regard to declaring complete revenue generated for the Federation but that is by the way. No matter how it is, every state and local government gets her own share of the constitutionally allowed revenue of the state.
“But unfortunately, how many state governments upon getting the money release same to the various ethnic groups that make up the local governments? How many of these state governments actually involve communities in their states in deciding what to do with this money?”
On the local government autonomy, the NULGE boss said: “Our position is that we really want the local government to be free, to be autonomous.
“We need local government that will address the aspiration and yearning of our rural people. We need local government that will deliver, a local government that would stand the test of time.”