The President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Anambra State Chapter, Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe, has described the Nigeria Governor’s Forum as the greatest problem of the nation, given their undemocratic approaches to governance, which has crippled the third tier of government.
Comrade Adigwe, who was speaking in Awka on the democratization of Local government system, identified the selfish ambition of most governors as the greatest impediment to the achievement of the lofty goal.
The Labour Leader recalled with dismay how people enjoyed the dividends of democracy several years ago when the local government areas were democratically governed.
“People who inserted the third tier of government in the constitution are not stupid. It is the closest government to the masses. Before you see a state Governor, you must know your level, the number of appointments you have booked and where you are coming from. But, elected institutions at the local government level improve the development of communities”.
“When we had democratically-elected leaders at the local government, they had their graders and other equipment for maintaining roads. They cleared gutters and drainage channels. But, if your community is not captured in the state budget, you have to wait for another year. Year in year out, you wait till eternity”.
Comrade Adigwe appealed to state governors to allow the democratization of local government in their respective states as the best and surest way of reaching the remotest parts with dividends of democracy.
“Even the spate of insecurity will be arrested. You can employ local strategies in solving your community or local government security challenges because they are not the same everywhere,”
“We are even clamouring for local government policing, where your brother is the police officer working in your own community. He will not likely compromise the security of his people as we experience now. Democratizing the local government means more job opportunities which will help to fight insecurity when many people who are idle now, are meaningfully engaged,” the Anambra NULGE President noted.
He also queried the interest of governors in stifling the judicial and legislative arms of government, noting that the governors have stalled the implementation of court judgment in favour of autonomy for the Judiciary and State Houses of Assembly.
“Some months ago, the Judiciary and State Legislature were granted autonomy. But up till now, governors are in court because their interest is not the poor masses but the treasuries of their states”.