President, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, has charged the Kogi state governor, Capt. Idris Wada, to champion the call for autonomy of local government councils and stop meddling in their affairs.
Khaleel, who disclosed this yesterday in an interview with Blueprint in Lokoja, said solution to insecurity and other vices that inimical to the country’s growth and development lay in guaranteeing the autonomy and constitutional rights of the councils.
He said the failure of councils to make better impact on the lives of the people and effect meaningful development to the rural economies was not because they lacked the knowledge, but because of the overbearing meddling in their affairs by the governors.
He said: “The problem of local governments is not from the Local government chairmen or councilors or the workers. It’s not because we are not capable to deliver, neither is it from the masses. It is the problem of the governors who hijack the administration of the local governments.”
“Some governors are still fighting that they must be governors and must remain as local government chairmen in their states. This is greedy and it is unhealthy for democracy. The earlier we make the local governments work and strengthen the institutional framework of the councils the better for the masses, the better for state governors and the better for Mr President in Aso Rock, Abuja.”
Khaleel said “if today, the local government system in Nigeria is very strong and it’s working, for God’s sake, do you think we can have the problem of Boko Haram? We can’t have it.”
The union leader noted that if the problem of Boko Haram was because some Muslims wanted Sharia system institutionalised in their domain, the local government could have guaranteed the practice of their religion without interference.
“The only solution for peace and security in Nigeria is to strengthen local governments, give them their rights, and let them govern themselves their own way. There should be no imposition of candidates.”
Khaleel charged council workers in the country not to support any governorship candidate not favorably disposed to their cause.