As There Lies The First Tier Of Security Architecture To Checkmate Insecurity
The leading Imo Labour Party Gubernatorial Aspirant Maj Gen Lincoln Jack Ogunewe (Rtd) pleads with State Governors not to kill the LGA as there lies the first tier of security architecture to check insecurity and bring development to the grassroot.
I have stated at every opportunity that security is everybody’s business. The rising state of insecurity in almost all the States of the federation is worrisome and requires concerted, coordinated and everybody’s participation and contribution. This “everybody” is in abundance and dispersed in the LGAs and not in the cities. This “everybody” looks up to their closest government which is at the LGAs for solution to their myriad needs and problems. Failure of the LGAs to meet these expectations created a state of despondency, poverty, unemployment and revolts leading to the insecurity that were hitherto unknown in the LGAs.
Currently, nothing seems to be working at the LGAs be it healthcare, education, public facilities, utilities, infrastructure and security. The Secretariat of most LGA Headquarters are in serious state of disrepair and dysfunctional unlike what it used to be in the past. I recall with nostalgia how effective the then Divisional Headquarters seamlessly functioned and provided services to the grassroots. I recall with nostalgia when these Divisions transitioned to Local Government Areas which was created to bring governance closer to the grassroots. The LGAs were equipped and provided effective services like road maintenance, effective security, employment and good communal relationships.
Today, the LGAs are a shadow of themselves, gagged, controlled and rendered powerless. In my personal assessment, the LGAs can be best described as docile because of lack of autonomy. The LGA autonomy is being resisted from a quarter that is supposed to support its autonomy, that is the State Governors. Some have dragged the State Houses of Assembly into this matter. Is this for altruistic reason or personal interest overriding the people’s interest? In governance, which is supposed to be supreme, personal interests of governors or the people’s interest?
The complete restoration of autonomy to LGA administration will make it effective in delivering the dividends of democracy to the grassroots which include security. The people are more known and can be better managed at the communities and LGAs and not at State Government Houses. The people more or less are prone to listen to their community leaders and LGA administrators. The constitution has defined government at the Federal, State and LGA with each complementing one another.
We need to ask ourselves these questions in order to understand that LGA autonomy is not negotiable
1 Why was the LGA created?
Has the LGAs lived up to its constitutional role of bringing governance to the grassroots?
If No, why has LGAs not lived up to its constitutional duties?
If Yes, what can be done to ensure their effectiveness?
Will LGA autonomy enhance their effectiveness?
Will LGA autonomy affect the authority of a State Governor?
What should be done to ensure that LGAs live up to their duties?
Why are State Governors against LGA autonomy?
Why is the populace mute about demanding for LGA autonomy?
Is there any mechanism in place to assess the effectiveness of the LGA administration?
Let us all support, press and demand for LGA autonomy as enshrined in the constitution. LGAs know the people better and the people know them. The relationship between the two when fully developed will be symbiotic and not parasitic. The LGAs are better suited to fight insecurity in the land through negotiation, pacification, job creation and reintegration. The LGA Chairmen have no choice because they command no military, police and other security forces. The sole weapon they have for conflict resolution is the negotiating table and community relations.
The LGAs are better suited to fight insecurity in the land. They are better suited to bring dividend of democracy to the people at the grassroot through gainful employment, provision of infrastructure and security.
The LGAs Chairmen enjoys no immunity and do not have the leverage to govern with impunity. Why not we give the LGAs autonomy? Why not give the people’s money for the development and security of the of the people through LGAs?