Buhari Alleging Governors Loot LG Funds Is True, Says APGA Reps Candidate For Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, Nonso Nnamani

APGA Candidate for Enugu North/Enugu South Federal Constituency, Mr. Nonso Nnamani

By Tony Adibe

President Muhammadu Buhari’s allegation that state governors were illegally dipping their fingers into the Local Governments funds to help themselves, thereby causing the Local Council Chairmen to perform very poorly is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Candidate for Enugu North/Enugu South Federal Constituency, Mr. Nonso Nnamani made the assertion when he commented on the President Buhari’s recent allegation. Nnamani stated that President Buhari’s accusation is the reality and nothing but the reality, which most Nigerians are ignorant of.

NewsBits recalls that President Buhari had on December 2, during a parley with members of the Senior Executive Course No. 44 (2022) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja said that governors in different states of the federation were looting funds from their Local Governments.

President Buhari said the retarded development experienced at the local government level was caused by governors and local government officials who “pocket” public funds and this has led to poor governance at the grassroots. Reacting to the issue, Nnamani said Local Government chairmen are handicapped in performing their duties because the state governors illegally interfere so much in the affairs of the local government.

Nnamani suggested that the only way to ensure proper and effective governance at the grassroots was to emancipate the local government from the vice-like grips of the state government. The APGA candidate said: “It has to begin from the elective process which has been flawed as it is the state government that has been in charge of conducting council elections which does not offer a fair process.

“The governors ensure the candidates they handpick always emerge and this puts the chairmen in their pockets as they have to do the biddings of the governors else, they will be removed.”

As a way of fixing the anomaly, Nnamani suggested that local governments be allowed to conduct their own council elections without interference from the state government. He said the current arrangement of the state organizing council elections does not allow the elections to be free and fair.

Nnamani further said that if the local governments were not able to conduct the elections on their own, then the INEC can always be called upon to organize the elections which would be freer and fairer than anything organised by the state government. Nnamani, however, further stated that by giving the local governments their own autonomy, it would ensure that a lot of grassroot developments would begin to grow.

He said: “This is more important in Enugu where a lot of the rural communities lack most basic amenities necessary for survival. Take for instance, in Nkerefi in Nkanu East Local Government, where a community for 24 years is yet to witness electricity. This is an example of the failure of local government to take charge of the development of rural communities but the blame of this lies squarely on the doors of the state government.”

He explained that in the past six months, the 17 local governments in Enugu have received a total of 47 billion naira as their allocations. The APGA candidate regretted that in spite all that, there is no significant achievement in terms of infrastructure or social amenities by any of the local governments to show for the huge amounts of money they received.

Nnamani said there was an urgent need for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and even the citizens to sit up and demand a better accountability and transparency from their leaders.

“The Civil Society Organisations are meant to not only help in providing them with appropriate information they need to keep up with the activities of the government. This will provide a platform for the citizens to engage the governments in dialogue that will help provide accountability in government,” he said. Nonso, who had earlier promised to push for a bill to separate and give local governments autonomy from state government if elected, said he believed it would allow the local governments full power to engage in developmental projects within their communities without the interference of the state governments.

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