A civil society organisation, New Nigeria Movement (NNM) has attributed the heightened insecurity across the country to lack of local government autonomy.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja ahead of a rally, the coordinator of the group, Comrade Almustapha Asuka Abdullahi, said without the effective local government system in Nigeria, the country will not move forward as expected.
Part of his statement reads that, “there have been agitations for the recognition of local council as the third tier of government in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Many have argued with justifiable evidences that governors have mismanaged local government funds through the joint state/local government account.
“Although the local government system is a creation of the constitution, there are agitations that states should be empowered to legislate on the existence of local government. But, others have argued that doing this will only make the local government councils an appendage of the governor’s office. Across the country, there are allegations that local government allocation is siphoned monthly by state governors. Many local government councils across the country can hardly pay workers’ salaries, while other have not been able to execute a single project for years.
“You will all agree with me that without the local government system in Nigeria, the country would not Move forward as expected. Most of the problems being faced today in Nigeria is as a result of problems we have in the local government. With an effective local government system, politically, security wise, financially, we would have a strong government. So government at the grassroot is the bedrock for rural development and that is why we must lead in monitoring the implementation of local government autonomy in Nigeria.”
The organisation also called on Nigerians to play their roles in order to ensure proper actualisation of local government functions.
Recall that in May, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari issued an Executive Order to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the country.
The order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.