An advocate for good governance, Hon. Destiny Madu, said on Wednesday that the deviant appointment of local government chairmen and councilors by state governors in place of local elections is a launchpad to destroy the country’s nascent democracy.
Speaking in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the Advocate for Better Leadership and Sustainable Rural Development Initiative, Madu noted that the absence of local election portent danger for the politic as stakeholders continued to pay callous attention to the dangerous trend .
He recalled that “once upon a time we had a functional Local Government system when the operators particularly the elected Chairmen and Counselors were yielded space to carry out their prescribed constitutional functions.”
All that are gone, and in recent times, thought of local elections are hardly imagine with the overbearing influence of state governors who cherished the absence of democracy at the critical third tier of government.
He said that even in the state where local governments election were held, the elections were conducted under the whims and caprices of state Governors with their highly personalized criteria.
It is painful and ridiculous that elected state governors who vigorously campaigned and canvassed for unfettered democratic practice at the federal and state level would deliberately refused to yield space for democracy to thrive at the grass root, he said.
Madu also lamented the absence of local government autonomy adding that instead of working to enthrone local government autonomy, the governors have devised an anti- democratic strategy of appointing unlawful caretaker committee chairmen and counsellors.
He stressed the need for an amendment to the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that would abolish the fraudulent joint allocation accounts committee being used in robbing local governments of the much needed funds.
Madu said that instead of the joint allocation accounts committee, local government chairmen should be made members of the Joint Federation Account (JFA) so that they can monitor the release and disbursement of their funds.