From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Human and vehicular movement along the ever-busy Ogoja Expressway Abakaliki were, yesterday, grounded following a protest by about 2,000 members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
The protest was to impress on the federal and state governments to grant autonomy to local governments as being canvassed in many quarters including the officials of the NULGE.
The protesters carry placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Legislators free LG from strangulation’, ‘Bring back our autonomy and bring back third tier govt’, NUT and NULGE speak with one voice’, Liberate the grassroots government to provide a genuine governance to the rural dwellers’ among others.
They stormed the House of Assembly and Government House, Abakaliki where they were addressed by the Head of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele.
Speaking at the Government House gate during the protest, NULGE National Trustee, Abimbola Babalola, said local government autonomy will stop deductions of local government allocation by governors.
He noted that autonomy will bring sanity to the system and strengthen the local government administration in the country.
“If we have our own resources, we will manage it well. We want direct allocations to local governments so that it will stop the deductions being made by our governors.”