Senate Minority Leader, Abba Moro has said that reverting to direct statutory allocations will stop unnecessary interference by state governors in the affairs of local councils in Nigeria.
The Senator said this while addressing the recent dissolution of 23 local government councils in Benue by the state government.
Speaking to newsmen, Moro maintained that there is a need to further amend the 1999 Constitution and relevant laws guiding the operations of the local government system.
This, he said, would help to avoid further emasculation and the illegal setting up of caretaker committee members at local government councils by state governments.
“From all standards of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this is alien and illegal, and by all standards, is an aberration.
“The constitution does not provide for the dissolution of the elected councils in Benue State or any part of Nigeria.
“There is no power in the constitution that arrogates to state houses of assembly to recommend the dissolution or suspension of local governments.
“And so, I felt that I should bring it to the attention of the National Assembly, especially the Senate because all my efforts to persuade the governor, government, and Benue House of Assembly to rescind the decision fell on deaf ears,” Moro said.
Moro expressed worry that the act of dissolving and setting up caretaker committees in local governments was an erosion of democracy.
“I feel that if we continue like this soon, virtually all the states in the federation will be operating the caretaker system across the country, and that is a violent violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I feel that state governments and governors see local governments as cash cows for their various states, because some of them have this feeling that statutory allocation will not be enough for them to use, and so they descend on the local governments.
“One of the ways we can stop this unnecessary interference in the system is to revert to the old system of direct allocation from the Federation Account to the local governments.
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“It will solve this problem of state governors and the state government’s unnecessary interference in the local government system,” the senator added
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