The council vice-chairmen, under the umbrella of the Association of Local Government Vice Chairmen of Nigeria, said they could no longer be seen as spare tyres.
The association members aired their minds during interview session with the press about what they can achieve by being autonomous, with National Enquirer Reporter in Abuja yesterday, at the association’s maiden conference themed “Prospects and Challenges of Local Government in Nigeria” held at Agura hotel.
Its National secretary and Vice- Chairman of Madobi LG Kano state, Hon. Muktar Dahiru said in this below video clip, spoke about how non- autonomy of the 774 local councils in Nigeria has become a hindrance to the nation’s democracy and growth.
In same tone, The Financial Secretary of the association also vice chairman of Aniocha South LG, Delta state, Hon. Joseph Onwordi Ikenwe spoke on how the local communities lives can be affected if local government autonomy granted, to local councils in Nigeria.
Hon. Ikenwe says, “To achieve the needed developmental goals, all have to start from grassroots, so there is a great need to grant Local councils autonomy. We are closer to the grassroots and, it is only when we become independent that Nigerians can truly enjoy the dividends of democracy starting from the grassroots, the local communities.
We are here to put heads together and discuss issues that will lead to bring developmental projects to the people.
And I appreciate, the supports we are getting from our state executive, Our Executive Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, he has been providing us needed support, in a very remarkable ways in compare with what are happening in other places.
He adds, “We don’t have any friction with Our Executive like others in Delta state. Beside, we recognised we are deputies, and have great respects for our state councils.
Here Hon. Joy Okeoghene Okor, Vice chairman of Isoko North in Delta state, spoke on the way forward and how her state governor is assisting to help the Delta State local councils to drive grassroots developmental goals and how granting autonomy to them can maximise the impact.
Vice Chairman, Taura local government of Gigawa state, Hon. Bashir Habib Yan kicked against what he called “a relegated status” allegedly given to them by their principals.
“Our prayer is that the national assembly should categorically state out the functions of Vice chairmen. There is a need for our functions to be constitutionally, stated, so we can have it as a basis. Some of our rights have been so neglected. They are even thinking we are their slaves why we are their colleagues.
He went on to stress that the relationship between executives and their deputies should exist between them and chairmen.
“We can see how Our President is working line by line with his Vice and state governors are working with their deputies, but when it come down to local government, we are being neglected and even called ‘Spare tyres’. This is so pathetic and indescribable”, Bashir said.
Hon. Bashir believes as a union after today’s deliberation, resolutions would be reached, and forward to National Assembly and State Assembly to legislate so they can reclaim and understand their constitutional stipulated stand.
Pamela Ogwata reports.