22 January 2013

Nigeria: LGs Autonomy - Reps Hit Back At Kwankwaso

Kano — The House of Representatives yesterday condemned Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for opposing full autonomy for local governments and reportedly claiming that the lawmakers were instigating state assemblies against the governors.

The House, in a statement in Abuja by the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Rep. Zakari Mohammed, said it won't back down on its resolve to grant the 774 local government areas in the country full autonomy as a third tier of government.

Mohammed described as worrisome "misleading conceptions about the 7th House of Representatives' stand on local government autonomy, independence of the state legislature and constituency projects, among so many other issues.

"The issue of local government autonomy as far as Nigeria is concerned is long overdue, arising from our people public session as true representatives of the people, our constituent do not agree with the current status where local government funds are being pilfered by governors at the expense of the people and chairmen who are seen as mere boys for the job. I challenge the Kano State Governor to tell people of his state and Nigerians how these funds are managed in Kano since he came to office. We would certainly not accept a situation where governors turned themselves as demigods in the name of joint account," Zakari said.

He maintained that the current unitary federalism that is being propagated by state governors was responsible for the high number of anti graft cases against governors.

Reacting, Kwankwaso's spokesman, Jaafar Jaafar, said: "The governor respects the assembly and will not do anything that will reduce the estimation of the hallowed chamber in the eyes of the public, especially being a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives."

The spokesperson added that the governor could have been misunderstood.

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