Council workers in Ondo State under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) yesterday blocked the entrance of the State House of Assembly in protest against the planned rejection of the local government autonomy. The workers led by their president, Comrade Bola Taiwo, said they would not allow the Assembly members to have access to the complex unless they guarantee them the passage of the local government autonomy. Meanwhile, the Assembly has called off its sitting to pass the 2023 Appropriation Bill into law sequel to the protest of the local government workers.
The NULGE officials also threatened to paralyse social, economic and political activities in the state if the Assembly members refuse to pass the local government autonomy bill pending before them into law. There are pressures on the House of Assembly from the executive arm of government to vote against the local government autonomy in the new constitution being reworked by the National Assembly. Some members of the Assembly who spoke with reporters said the government has been putting pressure on the members to make sure that the local government autonomy does not see the light of the day.
The workers NULGE officials said they would use their voting power to reject any lawmaker or party that deny them the autonomy in the Constitution being reworked by the National Assembly. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Yes to LG autonomy”; “Yes to judicial autonomy”; “No autonomy, No vote” and “On autonomy we stand,” among others.
Comrade Taiwo and the National Vice President of NULGE, Mr Abimbola Babalola said 16 states in the country have signed the autonomy bill into law and Ondo State should be one of the remaining states that would assent to the bill. The lawmakers promised to deliver the protest letter to the Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr David Oleyeloogun, who they said was not around to personally receive it.