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Senators back autonomy for local councils

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THE ongoing  agitation  for local government autonomy in the country by  the  National Union  of  Local Government Employees, NULGE,  yesterday, got  a boost as  senators threw  their  weight behind the  clamour.

According to them, granting autonomy  to local governments would help sustain democracy, and   free  the  councils from economic  strangulation  by  state  governors.

Speaking to Vanguard, Deputy Senate Minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, said:  “Local government autonomy would have been the best thing to have happened to this country ,but the states will always frustrate  it because  of  the monumental fraud that take place there.’’

Also, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, PDP Delta North, said that autonomy will allow the councils  to pay  salaries and foot their various bills.“They should have  autonomy and I support it because we are in a situation where local governments can’t pay salaries and can’t foot a single bill. The state assembly can still oversight them  if they have autonomy like what we have at the national level. So the local government should be  granted autonomy.”

Sen Adesoji Akanbi, APC  Oyo South, said: “I have been a promoter and advocate of  local government autonomy. But before that can be granted, there must be an  amendment  of  the  constitution to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the only body to conduct local government elections.

Senator Tayo Alasoadura, APC Ondo Central, concurred, saying: “I agree with them. The way some governors misuse local government funds is really deplorable.”

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