By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has called on the 36 State Houses of Assembly members as well as Governors to give their full support to the people to actualize the passage of the local government reform amendment into law.
This is coming on the heels of the actions of the National Assembly on formally accepting , inserting and passing into the draft amended constitution the proposed amendments on Local Government reform and Labour issues.
Speaking to Newsmen on Friday, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba declared undoubtedly that if passed into law, these amendments will free-up the local governments from the stranglehold of state governments and widen the democratic space as well as restore the lost glory of the local governments.
According to him;It is evident that autonomy will give a voice to the voiceless especially the minorities who have been shortchanged at the state and federal levels of government, make local governments a training ground for leadership at the state and federal levels of power.
“However,without attempting to diminish the importance of the actions of the distinguished members of the Parliament, a lot still needs to be done. These amendments have to go to the 36 States Houses of Assembly for their concurrence. The minimum requirements for these amendments to qualify to become law is the concurrence of at least two-thirds of the 36 States Houses of Assembly” he said.
Wabba further called on all the Governors of the 36 states to sheath partisan or insular considerations and support these amendments in the national interest.
While urging the affiliates of the congress to continue in solidarity and oneness for the struggle to actualize full autonomy for local governments in Nigeria, he further called on other Nigerians whose support is invaluable to rise and mobilize support in ensuring that these amendments become law.
He said; “This process has not ended and the struggle ahead will require more actions and support. We hope that the other key players will actually play their role and see the centrality of the interest of Nigeria and the people in addressing these challenging issue.
“What we expect in the coming weeks is that our representatives at the state legislators will do the needful and allow this very important issue to be accommodated in our constitution where full autonomy, political, financial and all facet of autonomy will be granted to our local government to drive development as over centralization of power at the centre is not going to be helpful”.
The NLC President stated also that the process of making these laws should draw its legitimacy from the people in order to make the process open and all-inclusive for Nigerians to buy in and make contributions. “They have the power to make law but I think that Nigerians should be carried along” he added.
He further kicked against using selection method to get leaders and chair persons in the local government level, stressing that democracy should be applied.
The Local Government system which is known by various names, is the oldest form of administration and has sadly been said to be the most abused and exploited in Nigeria’s post-colonial history.