The Conference of Speakers in the 36 Houses of Assembly may have concluded arrangement to back the current agitation by the leadership of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to ensure the realisation of autonomy for both state Houses of Assembly and local government areas in the country.
Already, the Speakers are poised to back the NULGE when the constitutional amendment on the local government councils autonomy kick off across the nation’s state assemblies.
The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, gave the indication in Ilorin, the state capital, at the weekend when the members and leaders of NULGE in the North Central zone of the country staged a peaceful protest to the state House of Assembly complex, Ilorin to solicit the support of the assembly for the ongoing agitation for the local government autonomy in the country.
During the protest, the workers in the 16 local government councils in the state moved from Sango, Moraba, Post Office and finally to the state assembly complex.
The workers were armed with placards with various inscriptions like: ‘Stop illegal deductions of federal allocations of local government councils,’ ‘We don’t want JAAC (Joint Account Allocation Committee) again,’ ‘We want financial independence at local government councils,” among others.
The Speaker however, said: “Granting of Autonomy to state Houses of Assembly and local government councils in the country will go along way to strengthen the nation’s hard won democracy.”
Ahmed said the development would also make the concept of democracy more meaningful to an average Nigerians.
He added that: “To this end, the state House of Assembly has resolved to actualise this when it is the turn of state legislature to play its part in the on going constitutional amendment.”
Ahmad represented by the Assembly Leader, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke, explained that the granting of autonomy to the first arm of government and the third tier of government in the nation’s constitution, would further reinforce the doctrine of checks and balances and spread of dividends of democracy to every nook and cranny of the country.
The speaker who disclosed that the eighth legislature under his watch has been people-oriented in its legislative activities since its inception in June 2015, assured that he was dedicated towards ensuring that at least two third of the state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria vote in favour of the autonomy in the nation’s constitutional amendment.
Earlier, the National President of NULGE, Ibrahim Khalid, said the union embarked on the rally in all the six geo- political zones of the country to sensitise the state legislatures on the need to support autonomy for local government councils in the on going constitutional amendment to permanently address issues impeding effective local government administration in the country.
Khalid whose position document was delivered by the Deputy National President, South West, Famola Oluwadare, equally among other things, called for the abolition of Joint Account Allocation Committee, scrapping of the state Independent Electoral Commission and payment of percentage of salaries to local government workers to engender effective local government administration in the country.