The Borno state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for the conduct of local council elections in the state.
Chairman of the union, Malam Mustapha Bulama, made the call in an interview in Maiduguri, following the inability of the state government to conduct elections into the 20 local government areas in the state due to the security challenges and insurgency in the past 10 years.
The councils were being administered by caretaker committees appointed by the governor.
Bulama said that the call was imperative to reinvigorate and demystify local government administration, adding that conducting elections into the councils would promote community participation in governance, encourage growth of democratic culture and enhance transparency in the councils’ administration.
The NULGE chairman noted that such elections play significant roles in the promotion of people-oriented governance, lamenting that previous administrations in the state failed to conduct the elections in spite of several appeals by the union.
“For many years, elections for the president, governors, members of the national and state houses of assemblies were conducted at the grassroots. These elections were conducted peacefully and we wonder why elections could not hold for the local councils,’’ he said.
Commenting on the financial autonomy of the councils, Bulama described the move as a welcome development and called for the amendment of the law establishing the State and Local Government Councils Joint Account, to facilitate the successful implementation and prudent management of council funds.
He also lauded Governor Babagana Zulum over his commitments to transform local government administration in the state and pledged support to the state government’s proposed worker verification exercise and other programmes outlined to reinvigorate the local council administration.