The Political Blackmail Of State Governor’s Against Presidency, On Autonomy for States Legislatures , Local Governments; An Over view

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The Political Blackmail Of State Governor’s Against Presidency, On Autonomy for States Legislatures , Local Governments; An Over view

Since1999 return to democratic practice in Nigeria,local government and state legislators has being in the eyes storm,not for anything good,but the conspiracy of the elected state governors to continue to feast on the resources of both the state and local government,not following due process.

This is not borne out of genuine course by most state governors,but on the basis of these two formidable arms of governments, operating under the whims and caprices of the state governors.

The benefits of the third tier of goverment,the local government and state legislators operating independently far outweighs the current awkward experience, being operated by the governors,who sees themselves under this dispensation as not only state governors ,but Lords.

Before the ascension of democratic practice in 1999,local government administration embarked on virtually all sectors/round developement of the local councils,which ranges from building of roads, hospitals,housing projects and electricity,as well as provision of water to all their various communities including regular monthly salary payment.

But under the guise of Joint account allocation backed by law, but now archaic, being used as conduit pipe to siphon resources of both the state and local government.

The state legislators also fall prey and victims of executive manipulation, having being placed to act as checks and balances to the activities of the state government,which on the long run had turned the state lawmakers to underdogs,rather than playing the crucial roles to act as checks and balances, to the actions of the states.

This developement had resulted in non payment of workers salaries leading to several years of arears,and in some instances,the council adminstration/workers are subjected to permanent percentage salary payment, without recourse to huge amount accrued to the local governments.

The state legislators lack of independent from the shackles of the state governments, had reverted their status to rubber stamps and many atimes owed salaries for onward of years and months,as well as denied other statutory benefits and popular decisions of goverment.

But the most critical aspects of the functions of the state legislators is usurped by the state government,so as to insulate them from the constitutional wrath of the state government and it’s inactivities .

The commendable efforts of the federal government began when it directed the NFI U to monitor the disbursement of local government funds, directly into the accounts of the area councils in 774 as at June last year.

Even though,most of the state governor’s and goverrments devised strategies to upruturn the arrangement by glaringly flauting the provision of NFIU and the federal government.

The state legislators who were suppose to effect the provisions of the federal government are being treated as guinea pig,as most of them are either handpicked during the election or facilitated into winning elections, therefore making them susceptible to the desire of the state governments irrational position.

This developement had militated against the smooth operation of council administration, as most state governors now devise the means of appointing non elective members into the local government areas,rather than conducting substantive local government election to install the third tier of goverment.

It did not stop at that,local government adminstration under the current arrangement is now a toothless bulldog, that cannot pay salaries,more of other infrastructural developement as obtainable before the democratic inception in 1999.

It is no longer news that state governments have gone beyond pilfering council funds to even imposing local government elective positions to their cronies,friends and well wishers to advance their avarice leadership.

So, the decision of the federal government to insist on the autonomy of two critical arms of government is needful and timely,not minding the resistance of the state government and it’s governors.

The only way to vilify the state governors is to discountenance the threats and go ahead with it’s decisions having backed it’s popular decision with an enabling law.

It is only this way that genuine democratic dividends could be achieved at the local government level as well as the erratic actions of the state government could be checked through the state Lawmakers.

The fear of impeachment, reprimand, suspension and other punitive measures envisage under the law is the bane of the resistance and opposition of the state governments against the people oriented decision of the federal goverment.

The best time is now or never,the federal government should jettison party affiliation,personal or collective interest of pressure groups not to override the interest of the generalty of all Nigerians,as if implemented to the later,will be a major milestone decision by the Buhari administration.

Written By Abubakar Yusuf .

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