*Abolish State Independent Electoral Commission
Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) says it has commenced a nationwide rally demanding full autonomy for the local government areas in the country.
Ibrahim Khaleel, the NULGE National President, stated this Wednesday while addressing members of the union at the commencement of the North-Central zone of the rally in Lafia.
According to him, the rally is necessitated by the resolve of the union to ensure that it saves the entire 774 local government areas (LGAs) in the country from total collapse.
“We are here today because of the terrible situation the LGAs in the country are facing due to the activities of all the 36 state governors. Lack of autonomy has milked the resources of the LGAs to the extent that salaries of workers, paid in percentages, are not being paid as at when due.”
Khaleel further said that the union could not continue to pretend that all was well with its members, hence the need for the rally to let the world know their grievances.
He listed some of the demands of the union as, payment of constitutional 10 per cent internally generated revenue to LGAs and stoppage of unconstitutional deductions and diversion of such to whatever projects by governors
Others he further said were consideration of primary school teachers’ salaries on first line charge from the Federal Allocation Account Committee and the abolition of all State Independent Electoral Commission.
“Others are the recognition of LGA as the third tier of government and the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on the conduct of local government election.”
The NULGE) national president had in December 2016 in Abuja commended the Supreme Court judgment which nullified the laws empowering state governors to sack elected local government officials and replace them with caretaker committee members.
He said that the judgment would deepen the democratic process, especially at the grassroots.
Khaleel also said that NULGE was not happy about the nonchalant attitude of the state governors over the welfare of workers.
He said that the union decided to hold the rally in all the six Geo-political zones of the country with the grand finale by the end of April in Abuja.
Earlier, Abubakar Ibrahim, Nasarawa State Chairman of NULGE, said LGAs would only be able to surmount their challenges of percentage payment and lack of promotion among others when fully autonomous.
Receiving the union, Ibrahim Balarabe, Speaker, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, said the assembly would support whatever efforts to ensure full autonomy of LGAs in the country.
Represented by Godiya Agwashiki, the Deputy Speaker, Ibrahim promised to solicit the support of sister members from other states for the campaign toward the autonomy of the councils.
It would be recalled that the rally had in attendance LGA workers from Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Kwara and the FCT.