By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin

Workers of local government in Kwara State, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, has asked Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and members of the state House of Assembly to speed up the process that will midwife total autonomy of the local government system in the state.

Their position was that the third tier of government as constitutionally recognized, should be independent in administration and financing.

Chairman of the Kwara State chapter of NULGE, Comrade Oyinlade Seun Adeleye, in a press conference in Ilorin, the tate capital, urged Governor AbdulRazaq to come out openly and break his seeming silence on the vexed issue of local government autonomy in the state.

He described local government autonomy as the catalyst to security of lives and property; as well as the development required at the grass roots, steessing that the third tier of government could not be an appendage of the state government for whatever reason.

His words, “It is our plea to Kwara State governor to, in conjunction with the state House of Assembly, expeditiously speed up the process required for Kwara State to be listed among comity of states that respect the wishes of the people at the grass roots, which local government autonomy symbolizes.

“We also wish to use this opportunity to call on the governor of Kwara State to break his long silence on the vexed issue of local government autonomy.

“Our governor must rise and invest in the trust of the Kwarans, majorly to write his name in gold, by aligning himself with true democrats and progressives.

“Local government autonomy is the catalyst to development. We are talking about security situation; food security and even human security. If the local government autonomy is in place, all these things will be very easy. We are not an appendage of the state government.

“The law recognizes us as the third tier of government. All we are doing is for the benefit of the generality of everybody. It is not to our own benefit because we want development at the grass roots level.”

Comrade Adeleye also warned members of the state House of Assembly opposing the autonomy of local government, saying that members of the union would mobilize against them in the forthcoming general elections.

The NULGE chairman also told the lawmakers not to pay lip service to the autonomy of local government system, because according to him, people at the grass roots deserve quality of life.

He added, “This is the right time to do the needful, because this is when they can listen to us. They need us very much now. If they (members of the State House of Assembly) decided not to vote for local government autonomy, we will also decide not to vote for them.

“They need us now, and we all belong to wards and polling booths. We are going to show and prove our worth to them.”

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