THE Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has urged state houses of assembly to resist bills, emanating from the ongoing constitution exercise, which would grant autonomy to local government areas.
The bills passed by the national assembly had abrogated the Joint Allocation Accounts Committee and maintained that only democratically elected local government councils be funded.
With the bills for autonomy of local governments requiring same passage by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly, ARG said the bills if passed into law amounted to an aberration on federalism.
In the statement signed by its publicity secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the group expressed doubts in the capability of the federal government to effectively manage the local government system thereby hampering development.
ARG argued that the push for the removal of local government areas from the control of state governments was a greek gift, with the federal government interested in conquest of the local government system.
“We can assure you that LGAs will be worse off if this so called autonomy is allowed to pass. This is because those controlling Abuja have no better plan for the country other than as a conquest. ARG warns all state Houses of Assembly to resist this legislation.”
“The advocates of autonomy for LGAs need to convince Nigerians of the benefit of such, despite the glaring fact that it is an aberration in any federalism and it works against development. If Nigeria is yet to get the possible maximum good governance from 36 executive powers granted to states, what will be creating additional 774 executive powers bring?”
“This plan will further destroy federalism in Nigeria and turn it effectively into a unitary state. However, we must remind Nigerians that there is nothing the federal government has taken over, since the enactment of the Unification Decree 34 of 1966, that has flourished. As example, the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan was already hosting international boxing fight before it was taken over. Today, it cannot even host national championships. In the same vein are WNTV, Obafemi Awolowo University, Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN), Moore Plantation and many other notable institutions.”
“The main reason for the push to remove LGA from under the control of state governments is to make this clause in the Land Use Act enforceable. The so called autonomy therefore is a “Greek Gift” and states with recent history of herdsmen attack had better collaborate with other states to reject it. ARG will work with states in the southwest to totally agitate against it.”
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