From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Friday disrupted the Nigeria Governors Forum and Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly meeting in Abuja over autonomy for local government and state judiciary.
The labour unions have been advocating for the granting of autonomy to local government areas and state judiciary and had taken the protest to the National Assembly.
The Senate had last month passed bill to grant LG financial, administrative autonomy
In the bill, each local government council is to create and maintain its own special account to be called Local Government Allocation Account into which all the allocations will be paid.
The NLC at about 3pm Friday had taken over the entrance of Fraiser Suites venue of the meeting with placards and banners of different inscriptions.
The governors were forced to abandon the venue to an undisclosed location to continue the meeting.
Speaking at the protest rally, President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said workers were there to impress it on the governors and the State Assembly Speakers that autonomy for local government and state judiciary must be part of their agenda.
Wabba decried the neglect suffered by the local government councils blaming the worsening security situation in the country to the neglect.
He said, “All of us could recall that the issue of autonomy and independence for these three arms of government to operate independently, has been an issue in Nigeria. And that has led to a lot of challenges.
” I can say as a matter of fact, that because the local government system is not working. That is why the security architecture of Nigeria today has collapsed.
“There is no security anywhere because that tier of government that should provide all the necessary information is not functioning. Some of their responsibilities, including fixing roads and creating employment opportunities have been taken over.
“And that is why you see people now moving enmass from the state capitals and the local governments to the city centers, it is a very chaotic process.
“We must put this to an end. We can have the system reversed because we have competent people, people well educated that are in our local governments. In the local government, we have all carriers, we have professors.
“And that tier of government if given the chance, it will be able to attend to all these challenges that now bedevil in development of our system.
“And that is why we have taken it as a major campaign to every nook and cranny that every politician, be chairman of a local government, be it members of the State Assembly must endorse this bill, on the autonomy of the local governments.”