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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.”