Contrary to the belief that Ebonyi state government may not be disposed to blend to the campaign for Local government autonomy, the speaker of Ebonyi state house of Assembly Mr Francis Nwifuru said the House under him will put all legislative frame-work in place to effect its debate and possible passage.
Mr Nwifuru who disclosed this when hundreds of local government workers under the aegis of National Association of local government Employees {NULGE} embarked on a Protest march in demand of local government Autonomy said the house will do everything within its powers to support the autonomy as everybody needs it.
His words; ‘’Everybody needs autonomy, we are going to work as a team to ensure that local government autonomy is realised’’
Nowayo news learned that earlier, the state Head of service Dr Chamberlain Nwele had in a plain language told the protesters that autonomy would increase the hardship of local government workers as seven out of the thirteen council areas in the state were unable to pay their workers from their monthly allocation due to high wage bill, hence state government’s reluctance in supporting autonomy.
“About seven out of the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi state cannot pay salaries of workers in the system. Should we have local government autonomy? Today, salaries are paid on or before 15th of every month in the state at both the state and local government employees because of the Governor’s ingenuity in managing the lean resources of the state,” he said.
Speaking at the government house gate Abakaliki during the protest, National Trustee of NULGE Comrade Abimbola Babaloloa said local government autonomy will stop deductions of local government allocation by Governors.
He noted that the autonomy will bring sanity to the system and strengthen the local government administration in the country.
“If we have our own resources, we will manage it well. We want direct allocations to local governments so that it will stop the deductions being made by our governors. When we have them in our poll, we know how to utilize them better for the people.  We want democracy to get to the root, let democracy thrive at the grassroots; let it be to the standard everybody want.
“In the past, leadership was grown from the local government system but this day, everything has just been in shamble including the election that is being handled by the SIECs.  We want LG election to be handled by INEC, let’s have democracy at the grassroots. We are the people that are voting”, he said.
On his part, the state NULGE President Comrade Leonard Nkah said with full autonomy, the third tier of government will provide democracy dividends to the people.
“Politically, autonomy will create a level playing ground for truegrassroots politicians to emerge as Chairmen and councilors. This will surely create such level of stability that will attract high profile individuals to come and participate in the grassroots governance and contribute their quota towards an enviable local government system thus reducing the pressure and quest for state/ federal appointments”,

The protest march took the workers to Ebonyi government house and subsequently the state house of assembly complex, at Nkaliki, where the speaker addressed them.




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