The Oyo state National union of local government employees (NULGE) today held a rally from the IBadan North local government secretariat to the house of assembly where the speaker of the house Rt. hon. Debo ogundoyin recieved there agitation on Local government Autonomy.
The union in its requests demands for financial, administrative and political autonomy so that the local government can function well since it is more closer to the citizen.
In an inscription that was held it read “we say yes to local government autonomy, it is sacrosanct and important, we demand financial autonomy,administartive autonomy and political autonomy. we are more closer to the citizens we want autonomy”
Atiba local government, akinyele local government, afijo local government, Ijokodo local government and other lg in the state where there to support the movement noting that it is beneficial to them and neccessary.
According to the president of the union Comrade Ayobami Adeogun he noted that the bill has been passed by the house of assembly to give autonomy to the state but it is been delayed for unknown reason. In butressing his point, he stated that the state government has also stampeded on their right and do not allow them to function as expected, he claimed that the state government has always embellezed the funds meant for the local government noting that dividends of democracy is not allowed.
” In responding to the national directive that we should embark on this peaceful protest From wherever we can converge to the house of assembly to present a chapter of demands and to represent and agitate for Local government autonomy I’m Nigeria. We are not pleased with the situation that we are in the local government,this is not our dream and we therefore believe that the chapter of demand that we’ve presented to the two national assembly that we have and that has been transmitted should be cross checked, they must seat to deliberate on it so that it could be in history that Oyo state also supported Local government autonomy “
While addressing the people a right activist and lawyer Femi Aborisade who also supported the movement noted that the constitution made provisions for the local government to enjoy their autonomy. According to him, he noted that the constitution does not allow the state government to control the funds of the local government. While agitating he noted that the state governors are only embezzling the funds meant for local government.
Femi said “I’m fully, totally, comprehensively,intensively in support of the movement for local government autonomy. The constitution already recognizes in section 1sub 3 that the distributable amount in the federation account should be distributed to the three tiers of government which are the federal government,state government and local government however,by virtue of seIt’s this provision that state governors use to control the amount of money going to the local government council. The constitution in section 162 sub 6 does not provide for the state government or state governors to be in control of the amount that ought to go to the local government councils therefore we’re agitating for local government autonomy that whatever is due to the local government councils should be sent to the local government directly because the state governors now see the funds belonging to the local government councils as their own personal property and they manipulate the process, they manipulate the elected chairman,consellors,to concede the bulk of money to the state governors this is why we are in support of the movement by NULGE. The constitution in Section 7 sub 1 already guarantee the existence of a democratically elected local government councils therefore,the constitution should further be ammended to ensure financial autonomy to the local government council and take the control away from the state governors who are abusing and misusing the Section 162 sub 6 of the constitution”
While been received at the house of assembly by the speaker of the Oyo state house Assembly RT. Hon. Debo Ogundoyi who also received the chapter of demand pleaded with the union to give the house more time to deliberate on the issue.
In butressing his point he firstly noted that the governor of the state Engr. Seyi makinde has nothing against local government autonomy as he his fully in support of request. But in his speech he pinpointed that they can only be given financial Autonomy as administrative autonomy cannot be guaranteed and this is because the state and it’s house of assembly and representative won’t have any control over or over sight function over the Local government noting that it can’t be tagged as “true federalism”
“Firstly,I want to assure you that governor Seyi makinde have nothing against local government autonomy because the insinuation of the governors but I can assure you today that it’s not all governors that stands against this chapter of demands. There are weekly and monthly consultation by the governors forum versus the speakers of the house of assemblies in each state, infact I just came back from Abuja due to the meeting that was held on Tuesday night between the governors forum and the speakers which centered on constitutional amendments.
The local government, judiciary and other aspects were discussed In this wider meeting. I believe that we do not fully understand totally the consequences of local government autonomy and local government Administrative autonomy this are the two bills within the local government, there are consequences and reaction for every action either good or bad. There is no aspect or portion of land in the state government that’s not within a local government and there’s no portion of land in a local government that’s not within a state government. In Nigeria we say we practice true federalism yes the local government autonomy will improve the security of our land but can the security of our land be improved without domesticative security in our own state??
We the Oyo state house of assembly have studied the consequences of this bill intricately and we assure you that we will be passing the altercation of the amendement bill in due cause, we will not shy away from our duties regardless of the consequences or wether an election is coming up or not and after our decision we will all be happy please give Oyo state sometimes and we will work on the alterations. Among the 16 states that passed the local government autonomy bill the administrative autonomy is not agreed on by majority because what the administrative autonomy does is that it takes the power away from the state which simply means that the state assembly and the state itself dosent have over sight function in the state. This also means that all power will be centered in Abuja and any over sight function will be done by the national assembly within our own state. The house of assembly will have no right over the local government, That’s why the governor’s are kicking against administrative autonomy.
He further assured the union that every fund due will be processed to the local government without interference from the state.
“I can assure you that whatever fund is due for the local government will be untampered and Oyo state house of assembly will support you fully”
While reacting to the speech of the speaker ,the president of the association comrade Ayobami Adeogun thanked the speaker for the time granted to them, he noted the union will keep on pressing the buttons for financial autonomy no matter the time.
He also earnestly pleaded with the house of assembly to properly debate on the matter as soon as possible and do whatever is favourable to the local government.
“I appreciate the speaker for his words, I’m pleading that the bill should be properly debated on in due time and response should not be delayed” he said.