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Full autonomy only way to save LGs from paralysis, says Shehu Sani

Shehu Sani, former senator representing Kaduna central

Shehu Sani, a former senator that represented Kaduna central, says local government autonomy is the only way to strengthen governance at the grassroots and save council areas from paralysis.

Sani spoke in an interview with NAN on Sunday.

The federal government recently filed a suit at the supreme court against governors of the 36 states, seeking full autonomy for local governments in Nigeria.

The federal government is also asking for an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils.

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Speaking on the development, Sani said the step by the federal government has the potential to restore development at the grassroots and strengthen the local government system.

“Local government autonomy is the only way to save the LGs from bankruptcy and paralysis,” Sani said.

“Poverty and insecurity in the country is rooted in the destruction of the local government system.”

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Sani said most council chairmen only go to their offices when federal allocations are released.

He said lack of financial and administrative autonomy for the local government has affected the performance of the third tier of government.

Speaking further, Sani described FG’s proposal that State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) should be scrapped as a good move, adding that scrapping the electoral agency would deepen democracy at the grassroots.

Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, had proposed the scrapping of the state commissions.

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“The scrapping of SIECs is a step in the right direction,” Sani said.

“It has become impossible for opposition parties to win elections at the LG level because of the institutional rigging and imposition of candidates by state governors.

“The chairmen of SIECs and staff of SIECs are all agents of the state governors and of the ruling party in their respective states.”

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