The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the federal government to discard the report of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai led committee on restructuring which advocated the scrapping of the local government as the third tier of government.
The union vowed to embark on a national strike to protest the planned scrapping of local governments as recommended by the APC restructuring committee.
Ibrahim Khaleel, National President of NULGE, while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, insisted the view of the committee is not in tandem with the interest of the people and urged the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to dump the report.
“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.
“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,” stated the NULGE chairman.