The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has threatened to shut down 774 local government councils as well as the National and State Houses of Assembly, over alleged diversion of local government funds in violation by the National Financial Intelligence unit in May 2019.
The union noted that governors were depriving the people of the benefit that they should ordinarily have access. It also gave a period of thirty (30) days to be given attention, or enforce closure of local government councils.
According to PUNCH, the union also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign an executive order preventing any state that failed to conduct council poll from accessing local government allocations.
Consequently, Ogun, Katsina, Anambra, Kwara, Osun and Zamfara, are included in States that had not conducted local government elections despite the expiration of elected officers tenure.
Similarly, Imo and Oyo State governments sacked elected officers whose tenure had not ended and replaced them with caretaker committee like the seven States mentioned earlier. Although Edo State has no local government caretaker committee, it is being chaired by heads of administration.
The National President of NULGE, Hakeem A Bali said, “About nine state governors are diverting and pilfering local government funds, thereby denying the people at the local government level the right to benefit from social amenities.
” As a matter of urgency, Mr President should sign an executive order preventing State government that failed to conduct local government election from having access to local government allocations, so that even if the money is released to the local government account, it should be for salary payments alone.
“They have to teach them (governors) a lesson, that is why NULGE would continue to be involved in agitation until the actualization of political and financial autonomy for local government.
“If we are to get things right in Nigeria, it is time to approve local government autonomy because all these agitations about insecurity, unemployment, lack of belief, and hope in the Nigeria nation; are borne out of greed, most of those who claim to be political elite, who corner local government resources and misappropriate them.
The union also threatened to shut down National and State assemblies.
Bali stated, “We have written to the leadership of the National Assembly, that is why the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila openly said the problem of local government autonomy is the governors.
“Even the 7th and 8th National Assembly did well by passing bill on local government autonomy, as a result of coercion and threat by various State governors to the National Assembly leadership, the 9th NASS decided to halt the autonomy,” NULGE president said.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News