Dr. David Kayode, a prominent public policy analyst, has pinpointed critical aspects that underscore the need for local government autonomy.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the House Committee on Special Duties, Tukuru Ibrahim, on Tuesday, conveyed strong reassurances to the Nigerian populace regarding the passage of the long-awaited local government autonomy bill. He, however, shared concerns about the bill’s fate in the state Houses of Assembly.
Speaking to RoyalTimes, Dr. Kayode emphasized the significance of people experiencing true democracy, asserting that the major stumbling block for local governments lies in the overbearing control exerted upon them by state governments.
Expressing concern over the prevailing governance structure, Kayode advocated for an accountability system to question government actions and emphasized the necessity for elected local leadership capable of managing their funds and resources effectively.
“State Houses of Assembly have regrettably become a mere extension of government houses rather than being the voice of the people they should be,” Kayode remarked, highlighting the systemic challenges faced by local governments and the need for greater autonomy.
Furthermore, Kayode dismissed the notion that democracy is incompatible with the Nigerian context. He stressed that the lack of autonomy across various branches of government, except for the executive, remains a pressing issue that needs immediate rectification.
“Autonomy is our primary concern. Only the executives wield substantial power, while other branches lack the autonomy necessary for effective governance,” Kayode emphasized, urging the government to prioritize the welfare and security of citizens by allowing democratic principles to prevail.
Dr. David Kayode also advocated for the supremacy of the people’s will in governance, urging the government to prioritize local government autonomy as a crucial step toward fostering genuine democratic rule and a more equitable relationship between different tiers of governance in Nigeria.