LG autonomy: Anyone against Supreme Court judgement enemy of Nigeria – Onjey

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Daniel Onjeh, has commended the seven-man panel of the Supreme Court of Nigeria led by Justice Emmanuel Agim over its judgement on local government autonomy.

Onjeh said anyone against the judgement was an enemy of Nigeria.

This comes after the landmark judgement of the apex court that affirmed the full autonomy of local governments in Nigeria.

Comrade Onjeh, the candidate of the APC for the Benue South Senatorial District in the 2023 General Elections was reacting to the ruling delivered by Supreme Court today, Thursday, in which it declared that it was unconstitutional for state governors to hold onto funds meant for local government (LG) administrations.

The court also directed that local government allocations from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them henceforth, and not to state governments’ coffers.

The court also barred governors from dissolving democratically elected local government councils, stating that doing so would breach the 1999 Constitution.

In a statement made available to DAILY POST, Comrade Onjeh, a foremost advocate of local government autonomy, considered LG autonomy and the issue of state police as the two things that would, to a large extent, resolve most of Nigeria’s developmental challenges.

The former Chairman of the Governing Board of PRODA, Enugu, stated that, “Anyone who opposes this ruling is an enemy of Nigeria.”

He asserted that the ruling would cement local government autonomy, release much-needed funds to them to tackle insecurity and cater to their social responsibilities.

“The funds released to local governments will allow them to sufficiently handle security logistics at the local level and involve chiefs and other community leaders in securing communities across the country,” he said.

This, Onjeh noted, would reduce insecurity, especially in rural areas, thereby providing an environment in which business and other economic activities such as farming will flourish and lead to the reduction of poverty nationwide and the growth of the nation’s economy.

Onjeh further noted that hitherto, most of the federal allocations meant for local governments ended up being siphoned, leaving little for developmental projects.

“But with full control of their finances,” he noted “local governments can now apply these resources to better the lot of the people at the grassroots.”

Onjeh urged the leaders who would be at the helm of affairs of local governments going forward, “to judiciously use the resources that would be allocated to their councils, investing them in projects that would improve the lives of the people they lead; projects such as functional primarily healthcare centres, schools, scholarships to indigent students, provision of agricultural inputs, loans to small businesses, clean water supply, rural electrification, among others.”

“With this landmark judgement, the panel of Supreme Court judges Led by His Lordship Justice Agim have imprinted their feets on the sand of time. Nigerians look forward to the Supreme Court delivering more pro-people judgements that will address the niggling problems of the society,” he added.

Onjeh commended President Tinubu for taking the bull by the horns and doggedly fighting to grant autonomy to local governments.

He urged local governments “to vindicate the President’s belief that if they have control over their funds, more Nigerians will feel the impact of democracy and reap its bountiful dividends.”

LG autonomy: Anyone against Supreme Court judgement enemy of Nigeria – Onjey

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