The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has called on the leadership of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF to uphold the sanctity of the constitution and rule of law.
ALGON said it was constraint to make the call following the sack of elected local governments’ chairmen in Oyo, Kwara and Imo states.
ALGON President, Kolade Alabi in a statement expressed dismay that some governors still view local governments as appendages of their office, not minding that the chairmen are elected like the governors for a stipulated period of years as passed by the various states’ House of Assembly.
“Despite the provisions of Section 7 (l) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as it relates to the existence, administration and control of Local Government Councils in Nigeria, the flagrant disregard for the constitution is baffling. The action is not only hindering the development at the grassroots expected to be put in place by the councils; it is also crippling the third tier of government,” he said.
He described the Supreme Court ruling on the illegality of sacking elected council chairmen as a “landmark.”
According to him “The Supreme Court ruling simply overruled the common practice by some state governors in dissolving elected local government council chairmen. Such action is now deemed unconstitutional null and void.”
He however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the governors to order and the Inspector-General of Police to ensure normalcy returns to the councils.
He said “Now that the Supreme Court has put to rest the arbitrary abuse and the constitutional breach, ALGON calls on everyone to join forces with us to ensuring sustainability and development of grass roots. With this development, the local governments will be better positioned to contribute to achieving President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.”
He equally urged the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to prevail on their members to allow the sacked council chairmen back to their offices to complete their tenure.