By AbdulFatai Beki
A don, Dr Ahmad Hussein Saddam, has said that any governor who fails to support full autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria is unpatriotic and an enemy of grassroots development.
Hussein-Saddam, who lectures in the Department of Islamic Law, Faculty of Law, University of llorin, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in llorin on Tuesday.
The legal practitioner noted that no meaningful development had taken place at the grassroots across the country, following what he described as strangulation of activities in all the 774 local councils.
He described local government councils as creation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the third tier of government, wondering why they should be incapacitated.
Hussein-Saddam attributed the decay in education, health and other sectors of the economy in various parts of the country to non-functioning of local councils as government at the grassroots.
He described provision of basic amenities at the grassroots as the only way through which majority of Nigerians could reap dividends of democracy.
“Any governor, who disallows local governments from functioning maximally, is an enemy of development, as he has deprived the people at the grassroots the opportunity of reaping dividends of democracy”, the don said.
Hussein-Saddam also condemned the joint account system currently being operated between state and local governments, saying that it had not brought any development to the grassroots.
“The operation of joint account between some states and local governments is a fraud and a calculated attempt to permanently kill the councils,” he said.
“All the 774 local government councils should be allowed to operate as autonomous entity like the federal and state governments so that each of them can manage its resources independently,” he said. (NAN)