Advocating the financial and political autonomy of local governments in the country is the National President of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ambali Olatunji.
Olatunji made this call while speaking in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, on the damage that has been done to the local government structure.
He said that local governments had been systematically “raped over time”, influencing the lack of progress at the grassroots.
He said, “We need a politically free and financially dependent local government administration. The local government has been raped over time; it has witnessed systematic destruction as a result of misrule and stealing of local government funds, thereby militating against progressive development at the grassroots level.
“No wonder, as of today, we are bedevilled by insecurity and poverty. We are deprived and also encumbered by unemployment, homelessness just because we have a failing system in the local government.”
He also spoke on the state of the country, stating that “As at today, you can no longer move from one state to another without initially asking if you will get home safely. Insecurity in the South, East, and North. This is not the Nigeria of our dream. We are bedeviled by abject poverty, joblessness, hopelessness, a threat to nationhood.
“Everybody now resorts to ethnic agitation. We have come this far because Nigeria is no longer working. The nation has failed the masses. At 61, Nigeria has abandoned its constitutional role in guarantee security and peace in the country.
“This can be traced to the systemic decay and destruction at the LG level. The local government system is the most strategic, most relevant, most popular, and most acceptable tier of government in the country.”