Autonomy for LGs: I’m helpless, Obasanjo tells NULGE

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria

Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented his inability to assist in restoring the autonomy of local governments in the country.

Obasanjo expressed his regrets while receiving the leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta.

The delegation was led by the National President of the Union, Comrade Ibraheem Khaleel.

”I wish I could help, but I am helpless,” Obasanjo lamented after NULGE officials asked him to do something about the erosion of local government powers by state governments.

The former president condemned the erosion of local government powers by state governments. According to him, the local council structure has been bastardised, battered and encroached upon by states, contrary to the objectives of creating the third-tier of government in 1976.

He described the neglect to which the councils had been subjected by states as unprecedented, wondering whether states could allow the federal government to do same to them.

“I begin to wonder if they (states) can allow what they are doing to the local governments to be done to them.

“There is no exception to this bastardisation and encroachment by states. Though, both are supposed to be separate tiers of government with each having its roles and functions, that is not the case anymore.

“As it is, I can only help you to shout and talk to the world. I do not have any executive or legislative power. I am crippled, but we shall continue to talk until those who are reasonable among them change this attitude”, Obasanjo stated.

Earlier in his opening remark, the NULGE President, Comrade Ibraheem Khaleel said the union had come to enlist the support of the elder statesman in rescuing the local government system in the country.

“As a major player in the 1976 local government reform, we …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper