The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Friday disrupted the Nigeria Governors Forum and Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly meeting in Abuja over autonomy for local government and state judiciary.
Recall that the organized labour has been advocating for the granting of autonomy to local government areas and state judiciary and had taken the protest to the National Assembly.
The NLC at about 3 pm Friday had taken over the entrance of Fraiser Suites by Grand Square Supermarket, Central Area Abuja with placards and banners of different inscriptions.
Speaking at the protest rally, President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said workers were at the place to impress it on the governors and the State Assembly Speakers that autonomy for local government and state judiciary must be part of their agenda.
Wabba noted with dismay that the neglect suffered by the local government councils has contributed to the worsening security situation in the country.
He said, “All of us could recall that the issue of autonomy and independence for these three arms of government to operate independently, has been an issue in Nigeria. And that has led to a lot of challenges.
” I can say as a matter of fact, that because the local government system is not working. That is why the security architecture of Nigeria today has collapsed.
“There is no security anywhere because that tier of government that should provide all the necessary information is not functioning. Some of their responsibilities, including fixing roads and creating employment opportunities have been taken over.
“And that is why you see people now moving enmass from the state capitals and the local governments to the city centers, it is a very chaotic process.
“We must put this to an end. We can have the system reversed because we have competent people, people well educated that are in our local governments. In the local government, we have all carriers, we have professors.
“And that tier of government if given the chance, it will be able to attend to all these challenges that now bedevil in development of our system.
“And that is why we have taken it as a major campaign to every nook and cranny that every politician, be chairman of a local government, be it members of the State Assembly must endorse this bill, on the autonomy of the local governments.
“They must endorse this bill for the autonomy of the judiciary and theyvmust endorse the bill for the autonomy of the parliament.
“We said this with passion because we know it is going to improve the problems that Nigeria is going through today, it is not only about siphoning their funds, it’s also about having a credible election in the local government system because that is why true democracy has been practiced.”
Continuing, he said, “If we destroy democracy at the local government level, then you are assured that what we are going to have at the center will be a mirage.
“Do we want this to happen? So that is why we are here as I said we are here because the governors Forum and the speakers of the assembly, will be meeting here. If they are meeting here, they must put the issue on the agenda, that is why we are here.
“What is our demand? Autonomy must be on the agenda of the meeting. That is why we are here. The next level of our campaign comrades, because I’m aware that the meeting is supposed to be here, anybody coming in must be able to listen to us. I will tell them why we are here is because of autonomy. We must remind them why we are here to. We will do that very peacefully.”