The Nigeria Union Of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has said that granting of Local government autonomy is the only panacea to the incessant killings in the country.
The union said, since majority of killings by herdsmen are taking place at farms and rural areas, local government authorities if well empowered administratively and financially are in the best position to nip in the bud any security threat before it snowballs to full scale conflicts.
Addressing journalists Speaking in Akure, the Ondo State Capital, the National Vice President of the Union in the southwest zone, Comrade Oluwadare Famofo, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to ensure unhindered quick approval of Local government autonomy by the 36 state Houses of Assembly to facilitate adequate tackling of security challenges at the rural areas.
Famofo said since majority of Nigerians including traditional rulers, were in support of local government autonomy, it was mandatory for state governors to also back it.
The National Vice President who was accompanied by NULGE Presidents in Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states, said granting autonomy to local government would enable Council chairmen to engage services of local vigilantes that would provide security.
According to him, “Granting Local Government Autonomy at this time would go a long way in not only restore but improve socio-economic development of the nation, ensure National, Political and educational stabilities”.
The NULGE Vice President charged state lawmakers nationwide to hold public hearings on the ongoing constitution amendment to allow stakeholders to express their overwhelming support for the local government autonomy as approved by the National Assembly in July last year.
Famofo commended Benue and Cross River state Houses of Assembly for taking a lead in approving the local government autonomy after public hearings in two states.
The NULGE boss said, ” the body therefore calls on the Nigerian masses, civil society groups, and religious clerics to throw their supports for members of state Houses of Assembly to follow the path of Benue and Cross-River states by granting local government Autonomy at their respective States in the spirit of National development”.
In a remark, the Ondo State President of NULGE, Comrade Bunmi Eniayewu said granting autonomy to local governments remained the fastest way to guarantee rapid growth at the grassroots and a viable Democratic process in the country.