National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has warned against what it called “mutual conspiracy” by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democtaic Party (PDP) to stifle the masses by denying them local government autonomy.
Besides, the union charged the presidential candidates of the APC and PDP, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to engage NULGE and indeed Nigerians on how to achieve autonomy for the councils.
NULGE National President, Akeem Ambali, who spoke in Abuja, on Thursday, during a courtesy call by the National President of the Association of Ex-local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ASELGON), Hon Albert Asipa, on the union, frowned on the reluctance of both Atiku and Tinubu to make their positions on council autonomy known “before and after their emergence as candidates.”
According to Ambali, “We are mobilising our members across the nation to begin advocacy visits to Houses of Assembly throughout the country to push for council autonomy.
“We have come to the sad realisation that the criminal neglect of local government is the multiplier of poverty amongst the generality of our people. We must return nobility to our people by changing the narrative.”
He expressed disappointment that issues of power availability, insecurity, poverty alleviation and the need to reflate the prostrate economy were not critically addressed during the primaries that led to the emergence of the candidates.
He added that any candidate or party which is favourably disposed to council autonomy would have the sympathy of the workers at that level of governance.
Ambali, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ogun State, however, commended President Muhammad Buhari for keeping faith with the establishment of the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to monitor local government funds.
Asipa had earlier called for a collaboration between ASELGON and NULGE for national and organisational development.