Nine govs stealing LG funds through cronies –NULGE

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees has raised the alarm that about nine governors were diverting local government funds, in violation of the guideline issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit in May 2019.

The union said the actions of the governors were depriving the people of the benefits that they should ordinarily have access to, as it threatened to shut down the 774 councils in the country if their demands were not met within 30 days.

The union also called on the President to sign an executive order preventing any state that failed to conduct LG poll from accessing local government allocations.

The Rahma Media Group had reported that Ogun, Katsina Anambra, Kwara, Osun and Zamfara states had not conducted local government elections despite the expiration of elected officers’ tenures.

Also, Imo and Oyo state governments sacked elected officers, whose tenures had not ended and replaced them with caretaker committees like the seven states mentioned earlier. Although Edo State has no local government caretaker committees, the local governments are being administered by heads of administration.

Meanwhile, giving the ultimatum in an interview with our correspondent, the National President of NULGE, Hakeem Ambali, stressed that members of the union would storm the National Assembly and the state assemblies to express their dissatisfaction with the way the governors were running the third tier of government.

Efforts to get the NULGE President to name the governors were not successful as several calls to his line till 12:40am on Saturday were not answered.

The union had in March 2017 staged a nationwide rally demanding full autonomy for LGs in the country against the backdrop of the Supreme Court judgment nullifying the law empowering governors to replace elected LGA chairmen and councillors with caretaker committees.

Ambali, who was the former chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ogun State chapter, carpeted state governors for refusing to conduct LG elections, stating that their action in denying the people at the grassroots the right to choose their leaders was borne out of greed.

He noted that the 7th and 8th National Assembly had passed the local government autonomy bill but the implementation, he said, was halted by governors, whom, he said threatened the lawmakers.

The NULGE leader argued that the governors had continued to deny the people the right to elect their leaders, describing the elections conducted by the state electoral commissions as a charade.

He stressed that the appointment of cronies to administer the councils by the governors was a way to perpetrate fraud.

The union added, “We have always vilified the system of conducting local government elections by state electoral umpire called SIEC because it has been a charade.

Commenting on the failure of the states to conduct local government elections, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, had said the constitution does not recognise the appointment of caretaker committees to run the affairs of a local government.

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