NULGE said on Friday that the governors’ actions 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.
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.
Ogun, Katsina, Anambra, Kwara, Osun and Zamfara are among states that 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.
On Friday, the National President of NULGE, Hakeem Ambali, 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 that the local government should provide.
“As a matter of urgency, Mr President should sign an executive order preventing any 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 payment alone.
“They have to teach them (governors) a lesson; that is why NULGE would continue to be involved in agitation until the actualisation of political and financial autonomy for local governments.
“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 Nigerian nation, are borne out of the greed of most of those who claim to be political elite, who corner local government resources and misappropriate them.”
The union also threatened to shut down the National and state assemblies.
He said, “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 the 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.”