Constitutional deficiency bane of Nigeria's democracy – NULGE – Daily Sun
Lazarus Imokhai Adorolo
From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State President of the National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) Lazarus Imokhai Adorolo has said inherent deficiencies in Nigeria’s 1999 constitution has been the major challenge affecting the smooth running of the country’s democracy.
Adorolo stated this while chatting with newsmen in Benin City, saying ‘the current constitution operated by Nigeria does not consider certain factors which include the administration of local government councils in Nigeria. Except these sections and subsections are amended, the average Nigerian, who forms the majority at the grassroots, will not enjoy the dividends of democracy.’
Adorolo said the ‘constitutional imposition of both the Federal and State Governments in the day-to-day running of the councils has crippled the essence of creating the local government councils as the third tier of government.’
The NULGE president opined that ‘the fact that the various states were constitutionally empowered to conduct elections into local government councils is an aberration which now makes the 3rd tier of government an appendage.
‘Imagine the style of state governors who conduct elections through their various State Electoral Commissions with the mandate to return their candidates as elected without recourse to the tenet of democracy, as they take joy in saying “my party won over 18 local governments”. Also, imagine if the Federal Government says all governors should come from the same party, then the nation would have been thrown into being a one-party state.
‘This error was never envisaged when the 1999 constitution came into force, while the various amendments have also been blinded by partisanship to the effect of correcting the error in the interest of our democracy.’
According to Adorolo, ‘we at NULGE are resolved to crusade for this constitution to be amended to the effect of growing our democracy and making it relevant to the grassroots.’
He called on all the State Houses of Assembly to align with ‘this effort whenever the amendment comes before them.’
He frowned at what he called ‘the deliberate policies of the Edo State Government aimed at crippling the 3rd tier of government, stressing that the IGR policy of the state government, which deliberately took the rights of local government revenue collection from the councils, is a direct affront on its existence.’
Adorolo called for a reversal of the policy as, according to him, ‘the councils have the capacity and manpower to drive their IGR.’
Sun News Online team
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