LG Autonomy: Ondo NNPP Guber candidate, Edema, faults Aiyedatiwa for opposing suit

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Hon Olugbenga Edema, weekend kicked against the position of the Ondo State government in opposing the suit filed at the Supreme Court by the Federal government on the Local government autonomy.

Edema said the autonomy of the local government would bring development to the grassroots and enable the third tier of government to perform their constitutional roles as guaranteed under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Recall that the Ondo state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kayode Ajulo, SAN, had on behalf of the state government filed a reply against the suit on the local government filed by the Federal Government pending at the Supreme Court.

Ajulo in the suit described the FG as “a busy body and a meddlesome interloper” that is interfering in local government affairs.

But reacting to the development, Edema said the state government under the All Progressives Congress has stiffen development at the grassroots by using the funds accruable to the third tier of government for personal aggrandizement.

He said he would grant local government full autonomy when he assumes office as the governor of the state under the platform of NNPP come 24th February 2025.

According to him, the governors who are against the local government autonomy have seen the funds at the local government as a way of stealing public funds and using such funds for purposes that are against the law of the land.

The former lawmaker said ” When elected under the platform of NNPP, I will ensure full local government autonomy and ensure the return of all markets to the Local governments.

“I will also make sure that tenement rate, vehicle stamps, and marker rates and all such legitimate rates collected by the local governments, are collected by the local government authorities and utilised by them.

“I don’t understand why the state governor wants to see local government funds as a way to enrich themselves and render the council chairmen and appointees useless at the third tier of government by taking over their roles and funds.

“Many of the staff of the local governments in Ondo State no longer go to work because all their roles have been taken over by the State Government, contrary to the spirit and letter of the constitution which guarantee the existence of the local government.”

Edema said the people of the state should not allow Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to use the money meant for the development of the local government for election purposes.

He said that “Ayedatiwa should direct the Attorney General of Ondo State, Kayode Ajulo, SAN, to immediately withdraw their opposition to the Federal Government’s case before the Supreme Court on the Local government autonomy. That is what the people of Ondo State want. (Vanguard)

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