By Tope Fayehun, Akure
The National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, has advocated for the scrap of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take over the conduct of local government election across states of the federation.
The union also cautioned state Houses of Assembly against succumbing to pressure from some state governors who are working against the approval of long awaited local government autonomy.
Addressing a press conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital the Ondo Chairman of the union , Comrade Bunmi Eniayewu , said the takeover became imperative to checkmate alleged electoral fraud by state governors.
The NULGE chairman who said, INEC should be constitutionally empowered to conduct credible election for local governments, noted that the development would make the people at the grass root to hold their representatives accountable.
Eniayewu said, those at the helm of affairs in the country should allow a bottom up approach,saying that was the position of the grass root people .
According to him, “This will make the people of the grassroot chose the candidate of their choice to preside over their affairs rather than for a governor waking up and decided that some people should go and appointed a caretaker “.
He said,” The position of the grassroot people and what they saying is that we must have a free and fair elections in our local governments. Because if am a governor and I appointed SIEC, there is no way they would not do my biding.
” if you are doing good in your state as a party and a governor in power, it will be easy to convince the people to vote for your candidate. But what we have now, is a situation whereby a party in power conduct an election and at the same time clears all the local government elections at all cost in a state that has multiple party in their state and National Assembly .
Speaking on the local government autonomy, Eniayewu said that state lawmakers were lawfully independent and they should not allow any governor to use them to truncate local government autonomy that all Nigerians were yearning for.
He expressed confidence that the Ondo state house of Assembly and governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu were in support of rapid development at the grassroots and they would not work against autonomy for local government in the country.
On the recent mass retrenchment of over 4000 local government workers and 22000 teachers by the Kaduna state government, Comrade Eniayewu described the actions as inhuman, condemnable and should not be allow to stay in the interest of the affected workers and their families.