The former Governor of Lagos State and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Raji Fashola, has advised local government chairmen and their executive committee members who may feel dissatisfied with the existing relationships between their councils and the state government, especially in terms of fiscal and political autonomy, should approach competent law courts for sound adjudication.
Fashola said the abuse of local government autonomy by state governments in connection with their allocations and dissolution of elected council administrations by governors was an abuse of existing laws and should be fought in law courts without calls for autonomy.
He made the remarks yesterday while delivering his keynote address in Lagos at the public presentation of two law books authored by a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo. The books are entitled; Modern Administrative Law and Practice in Nigeria, and Local Government Law: Cases and Materials.
According to Fashola, local governments were too important to be abused. He said that the challenge with the third tier of government was that its governance had been left in the hands of ‘those we regard as local people and so when their rights were trampled upon, they do not protest because they do not know.”
He said: “It is unfortunate that we do not value our local government systems as the third tier of government. Maybe, because of the word ‘local’, we all believe it is too local to enjoy our participation, forgetting the fact that it is at that level that solid foundation for national development is laid. “Here we have Prof. Osipitan with his knowledge, experience and exposure.
Can he volunteer to be a local government chairman? Many of us will not because it is too ‘local’ to us. But we have forgotten that the local governments are in charge of our arrival to the world and departure from the world.
Source: New Telegraph