Sunday, July 19, 2009

Local Govt and denure reduction burden

Local govt and tenure reduction burden
By sJeff Nkwocha
Sunday, July 19, 2009
• Photo: Sun News Publishing
•More stories on this section

In a recent report, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Oyo State Chapter, threatened to protest to the state House of Assembly if the lawmakers went ahead with the plan to reduce the tenure of chairmen and councillors in the 33 local government areas from three to two years.

According to the state NANS president, Monsuru Adeyemo, the lawmakers’ plan was capable of causing confusion in the state.

The question is, what is the interest of the lawmakers in pursuing this line of action? What stops elected council administrators from enjoying four-year term like the president, governors and members of the national and state assemblies?
Political observers now understand that lawmakers do not project the interest of the people. Rather their stand on local government tenure is borne out of petty jealousy and retaliatory reactions.

For instance in Nasarawa State, it was on the eve of local government election, when the candidates of the governor sailed through against those nominated by the lawmakers that they went back to their chambers to reduce the tenure of local government to one year.

In the same vein, the current face-off between the House of Assembly and council chairmen in Oyo State might not be unconnected with some petitions allegedly written to the anti-graft agencies by the council bosses against the lawmakers. Some of the council chairmen were not happy with the way they were compelled to pay certain amount of money to lawmakers from their respective councils.

Are we degenerating into what a renowned philosopher, John Webster, said: “A politician imitates the devil, as the devil imitates cannon. Wheresoever he comes to do mischief, he comes with his backside towards you.” God forbid!

•Jeff Nkwocha
Local Government Study Network

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