Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has declared that there would be no general elections in the country, in 2019, should the long-agitated local government autonomy not granted.
Rising from its one-day emergency meeting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the tripartite of NULGE, Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from the six states of the South West geo political zone urged the remaining states assemblies yet to pass the two bills on local government autonomy to do so without delay.
According to NULGE National President, Mr Ibraheem Khaleelim “As major stakeholders especially on the two bills for local government autonomy, we will continue our agitations until we are successful. Democracy is about participation and dialogue is key in any public discourse. That is why we embarked on this forum.”
The NULGE President maintained that no governor could exist without the mandate of the people, stressing that they would go back home to sensitise the people on the need for the governor, who still need their votes to remain in office.
A leader of the Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Akomolafe Pius, said the third-tier administration must be in place as it brings governance closer to the people.
He warned the states assemblies and other relevant bodies against playing politics with the two sensitive bills, noting that it was long overdue.
Also, the National Coordinator, Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People (CDRP), Chief Amittolu Shittu, said the forces against local government autonomy would be resisted.
He declared that both the National Assembly and Federal Ministry of Finance would be picketed by stakeholders, stressing that democracy would derail if local government was killed.
Ondo State NULGE President, Dr. Bunmi Eniayewu, maintained that NULGE would re-double its efforts and ensures that the two bills are passed in the state.
“We have sensitised the people and as soon as the public hearing is concluded, the state assembly will ratify the two bills,” he added.