From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for the abolition of States Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and the States and Local Government Joint Account.
In a paper authored by the national body of NULGE and made available to Daily Sun by the Abia President of the Union, Ikechi Nwaigwe, the union regretted that state governors have converted SIECs in their various states as an instrument for selecting their stooges as Local Government Chairmen and councillors; rather than allowing the electorate the freedom to choose who will govern them.
NULGE advocated for elections to be conducted at the local government level by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
‘NULGE advocates for the abolition of SIECs which have been converted by the governors as an instrument for selecting their stooges as Local Government Chairmen and councillors; rather than allowing the electorate the freedom to choose who will govern them.
‘We posit that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be conducting elections in Local Governments.’
NULGE equally appealed for the abolition of the States and Local Governments Joint Account which they alleged has been converted as a conduit pipe for siphoning of Local Government statutory allocation by State Governments; they called for full observation of fiscal federalism.
While calling for autonomy of local government, the union said it was imperative that the power to determine the structure, finance, establishment, composition and functions of local governments, should not be vested in the Houses of Assembly, but spelt out in the constitution.