By Helen udoh- Abuja
Insecurity in Nigeria was caused by the collapse of the local governments whose powers were taken away by governors by denying them fiscal federalism and governance of their jurisdiction.
Ned Nwoko, the founder of Ned Nwoko Foundation said this in Abuja when he delivered a Democracy Day lecture on Saturday night at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council. The event was organized by the Correspondent Chapel of the union.
Nwoko noted that until the federal government stamps its feet down and liberate the local government, the failure of the Nigerian state will read on the table of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the president should also calm a conference where all the contending voices groups like Boko Haram, Eastern Security Network (ESN), Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ohaneze Nd’Igbo, Afenifere will not be guided on what they want to talk about.
He noted that this would put a stop to the various agitation rocking the country.
His words: “Any crime is local, it is high time the president calls on all the local government to know that henceforth, they have to take charge of the security in their domain.
“And be empowered to do it through fiscal support, work with the intelligentsia, traditional institution and the security agencies in the local government with the federal government. In no time, the youth who are mainly people that suffered a lack of jobs in the local government will become engaged.
“So we need local government autonomy in all ramifications. I know the state governors will fight against it because they use the local government for their elections. This is what the President must give to Nigerians.
“If we fail as a nation or this administration or the government fails today, it is the president that has failed.
“All the chairmen I have spoken with, are eager to ensure that they have independence.”
He recalled the president’s example of how governors a force signatures out of local government chairmen claiming they received applications to them which he said the President must work to stop it, for the security of Nigeria and the success of his administration.
“The president knows about this, so he has to ensure a working relationship with the national assembly as a matter of national importance to set the local government free.
“That is not to say that all the local government are doing well that is why you have the agencies of government to monitor them the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related matters Commission (ICPC) the police Department of State Services (DSS) and other ones are all there to monitor how they utilize the money sent to them.
“Going forward and preparing for the next election, I believe that the independence of the local government will give us the much-needed comfort in all-around, youth restiveness, unemployment, and all that they are all local.
“Believe me with local government autonomy that is well funded, with Chairmen, councilors working in conjunction with traditional rulers and security agencies will be the way to go forward.
Comrade Philip Nyam, Chairman of the constitutional conference said the call for the unity of Nigeria is vital but must be rested on justice and fairness of all concerned.source:NigerianTribune.