Dogara bemoans state legislatures' refusal to grant LGs autonomy
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, bemoans the refusal of state legislatures to grant autonomy to local government councils in the ongoing constitution amendment.
While reviewing the states' houses of assembly votes on the Constitution Amendment Bill sent to the National Assembly, Mr. Dogara said there is hope that the states legislatures will grant local government councils autonomies when the National Assembly re-presents the bill in the future.
However, he commended the federal lawmakers for granting state legislatures autonomy. His words:
“I must commend you for deciding that the legislature in states should be independent. However, this is not an expression of the opinion of the National Assembly, I want to appropriate this as my personal opinion. I can say that I am disappointed because I thought that the courage demonstrated by these highly skilled legislators, some of whom are seated before us, would have delivered the long awaited local government autonomy, but unfortunately, maybe our courage didn’t go that far.
“But you see, courage isn’t really the absence of fear, but it is acting in spite of your fears and if it was not because of men and women of courage, I tell you that the democracy itself that we experience now wouldn’t have been possible. When William Wilberforce said slaves must be free, he belonged to the party, majority of whom, were slave owners and on account of that, a revolution started,” he told the state legislators..
“Just as this one (financial independence for state legislatures) failed the other time, maybe in the next exercise, because our state legislatures are now independent, they will be able to extend this same independence to local governments. We all know the benefits of the independence of the 3rd tier, we all know that.”