“Enough is Enough” – Rivers Council Chairmen Back FG’s Move for LG Autonomy

Local government chairmen from Rivers State have backed the move by the Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), seeking full autonomy for local government administration at the Supreme Court.

Barrister Chidi Lloyd, Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, and Barrister George Ariolu of Obiakpor Local Government Area, both in Rivers State, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, commended the AGF for instituting the suit.

They described it as a welcome development aimed at curbing the excessive influence of governors on local government administration.

Ariolu lamented that state governments have brazenly stolen funds meant for local government administration, and expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will deliver justice, having heard the arguments of the AGF.

“Of course, it was clear that most of the arguments of the Attorneys General are contravention of section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which says that a system of local government shall be run by democratically elected officials.

“So, this attitude of governors taking their local government chairmen at their whims and caprices has to stop. I am elected just as a governor, but some of them seize allocations meant for us; they dissolve local government councils at will, Ariolu said.

He added, “If Mr President seizes their allocations from the Federation account, they will make a mountain out of it. So, this has to stop.”

Lloyd, on his part, stated that the time has come for full autonomy for the local government system.

He said, “Enough is enough in this country. Enough of this highhandedness from State Governors.

“Democracy should be practised from the grassroots and people at the grassroots should see the dividends of democracy.”

The suit by the AGF filed on behalf of the Federal Government, seeks to restrain governors from constituting caretaker committees and unilaterally dissolving democratically elected local government chairmen. The suit also seeks to direct that funds meant for local governments be channelled directly to them from the Federation Account, in accordance with constitutional provisions.

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One Comment

  1. Buth the essence of local government creation in 1979 was for the development of those locality but,today the state governors are not really developing the area the way it should be. Just because the local government funds are in their disposal. If the supreme Court will deliver judgment in favour of local government: local government chairman’s should used local governments fund judiciously for the development of the area not for looting.

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