Indication has emerged that the National Assembly may opt for the creation of more local government councils in place of states.
Various interest groups across the country have tabled request before the NASS for the creation of 48 new states in the country, which already has 36 states and 774 LGAs.
But in an exclusive interview with Leadership Weekend in Abuja, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said that Nigerians needed avenues for accessing basic amenities and not chiefdoms for tribal champions.
Mohammed, who represents Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency of Kwara State, pointed out that Nigeria needed to strengthen its existing structure to enhance peace and development in the country.
The House of Representatives spokesman said: “I think we need to get something right. It would be unfortunate for us to sit down here and create tribal enclaves for tribal chiefdoms for people to begin to oversee and become champions and conquerors of those places.
“Nigeria has moved beyond that and what I think Nigerians should be asking for, should be more local government councils because the local administration is the closest to the people. Most of the people stay in the rural areas and they want to have access to Medicare, education and basic necessities of life,” the lawmaker said.
On the usurpation of powers of LGAs in the country by governors, Mohammed announced that the House had begun moves to amend the LG Act to give financial autonomy to the councils.
The move followed widespread discontent over the takeover of LGAs by sole administrators appointed by governors in place of democratically-elected chairmen and councilors.
At the last count, no fewer of 540 out of the 774 LGAs in the country are under the control of governors’ appointees.
Mohammed said that it was wrong for governors to hide under certain laws to tamper with the functions of the LGAs.
“What we want to do is to repeal certain provisions of the constitution to give clear autonomy to the local government because state governors hide under certain constitutional provisions to continue to stifle the existence of local government.
The lawmaker also slammed the protagonists of Sovereign National Conference, saying that it was not necessary under a democratic regime, as the representatives of the people were capable of addressing the issues for which the conference would be convoked.