THE Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has threatened to embark on a national industrial action over the recommendation of delisting 774 local governments from the constitution as third tier of government by the All Progressive Congress (APC) committee on restructuring.
The body made their position known while addressing journalists in Abuja, yesterday, by its National President Ibrahim Khaleel.
While advising the Federal Government to dump the report in a dustbin and avoid the waste of time, energy and resources, it insisted that the recommendation was self-serving, mischievous and that it did not reflect the position of its members and Nigerians at large.
“If we are sincere on the issue of restructuring and devolution of power in Nigeria, power should, as a matter of urgency, devolve to the grassroots, that is, local governments, other than removing power from the federal and local government to the state government.
“Nigerians have been clamouring for a functional, democratic local government for a long time. In 2013, the Seventh Assembly took the debate on local government to 360 federal constituencies where about 327 clearly supported an autonomous local government system, by way of ensuring that through constitutional reforms.
“In the same vein, the Eighth Assembly has already passed the bill to make local government more independent, based on the aspirations of Nigerians.
“Now, the bill has been transmitted to state Assemblies, waiting for their action, some governors are ganging up, again, to hijack the process at Houses of Assembly,” Khaleel said.
He also charged members across the states to stall the process by engaging Houses of Assembly on the matter.
“The leadership of the union, at both state and local government levels are, hereby, directed to renew their efforts in engaging their state legislators, to ensure the success of the struggle.
“We say no to that. Nigerians have spoken.
“The governors and the committee cannot run away from it.
“We participated at all venues where the committee held consultative meeting with stakeholders and we know what transpired.
“Majority of the presentations made were in support of local governments of the people and for the committee to come with a different report that does not reflect what we presented is a self-determined position, particularly by the chairman of the committee.
“That is why we are calling on the APC, as a party, to reject the committee’s report on that,” the NULGE chairman said.