By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A former Senator from Taraba State, Distinguished Senator Bala Adamu, of the group, Friends of Democracy has made case for the need of making local government areas administration strong, as a precursor for a stronger Nigeria.
Senator Adamu, who came in from Maiduguri expressed this at the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) Engaged Citizens One-Day Town Hall Meeting on Local Government Autonomy in Kaduna State, held on August 30, 2018.
“If the administration at the LGA is strong, then the whole system of the country would be strong. A strong LGA system ensures better lifes for the populace.
“With autonomy, their funds from the federation would accrue to them and through due process would be used judiciously,” he stated.
He explained that he was a beneficiary of a strong local government system before the Independence of Nigeria.
“In primary school, we were taken care of through monthly stipends, our teachers had quarters to live in and were well motivated.
“Agreed that the population of students was not as much as it is now, but we were adequately catered for through a strong local government structure,” he said.
He stressed that the issue of LGA autonomy is very dear to his heart.
“Our move for LGA autonomy started when we were at the NASS in 1999. We wanted LGA autonomy as enshrined in the 1999 constitution but the then President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to exert a military mentality, which frustrated our moves,” he added.
He charged all the participants of the meeting to contribute in whatever they are opportuned to entrench and deepen democracy through granting LGA autonomy.
“Labour leaders have to be key in ensuring LGA autonomy. In this zone, only Sokoto State has passed LGA autonomy.
“We must congratulate ourselves for achieving autonomy in state Houses of Assembly, having achieved that, it is expected that they support the LGAs to also get their autonomy,” he charged.
He asserted that civil society organisations and organised labour are the voice of the people.
“Stand firm and defend our democratic institutes, the politicians would listen to your voices,” he said.