History is always available to teach how to do the right thing in the right place and at the right time. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered the landmark ruling in Dred Scott’s case. The ruling referred to black people as cattle. It went further to state that Negroes whose ancestors were imported into the U.S. & sold as slaves cannot be an American citizen and therefore had no standing in the federal courts.
Between 1857 and now, so much water has passed under the bridge in global affairs and a black man is currently the President of the U.S.A. Those who keep quiet in the face of tyranny cannot enjoy freedom.
The problem of local government administration is germane to the development of Nigeria. We operate a 3tier government structure but with several anomalies. L.G.s were created to make governance closer to the populace but the reverse is the case today.
The 1999 C.F.R.N. created 774 L.G.A.s and none of them is alive to their responsibilities. As it stands, our governors have hijacked the running of the L.G.A.s and made it difficult for them to deliver dividends of democracy to the local populace whom they were created to serve.
In all states of the federation, no matter the party affiliation, it is the Governor’s party that wins all seats in the L.G.A. of all the state if elections are conducted at all.
If we truly desire the dividends of democracy at the local level where governance can be closer in a way to meet the needs of the people, then we need to mobilise all forces and rescue local government administration away from the hands of the state governors. Supporters of the governors have always insisted that federalism allows them to supervise the activities of the council areas, but I do not believe that this supervision as it is now is good enough for our democracy. An independent L.G.A. will help us better deliver anticipated dividends to the people of Nigeria.
We must join forces and make sure the N.A. and the 36 state Houses of Assembly effect constitutional amendments to rescue LG administration from the hands of our powerful governors. Only then can the L.G.A.s cater to the needs of the local communities and become a breeding ground for youth who are passionate about political participation. As it stands, the LG Chairmen and Councillors that we have today are only errand boys selected by the governors with utmost care based on loyalty or how else do we explain a situation where a council chairman decides to build dual carriage way when there is neither portable water nor health care facility in the council area and the only vehicles available are owned by the council staff. We need decent democratic culture in our L.G.A.s and this cannot be provided by the state government NEC.
States that desire to have more council areas in their states should be ready to fund them through the state generated IGR and not through the constitutionally approved funds to any of the constitutionally recognised 774 L.G.A.s.
We cannot afford to keep quiet while the governors molest the L.G.A.s and stifle them from delivering the dividends of democracy to Nigerians and hand their administration over to their stooges. If the 774 L.G.A.s are fully functional, they will create good governance to a large chunk of Nigerians. The sky is wide enough for all the Governors to fly and allow L.G.A.s to also fly.
We should arise and ensure that our law makers do the right thing. If things are done rightly, Nigeria has an opportunity to become the most desirable country to live in by 2025.
God bless you!
God bless Nigeria!