A former Ogun State People’s Democratic Party governorship aspirant, Oladipupo Adebutu, has advocated that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be allowed to conduct local government council elections to make them credible.
Adebutu, who is a former member of the House of Representatives, expressed confidence that doing so would revive governance at the grassroots level.
He spoke during the second edition of the Ladi Adebutu Good Governance Symposium, held in Abeokuta, on Saturday.
He said, “When we fail at the grassroots, everything else fails. The only solution to local government administration is to take away the election from states and allow credible elections where people can genuinely choose their leaders to exercise their franchise.”
Also speaking at the event, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who spoke on the topic: ‘Local Government Autonomy: A panacea for national development,’ argued that Nigeria currently operates under a ‘suffocative system,’ owing to the 1999 constitution (as amended) which he branded “a false document from the pit of hell.”
The legal practitioner, who was the Guest Speaker at the occasion, said “it is a lie to say Nigeria is indivisible.”
Ozekhome said “I agree that Nigeria should stay together as one country. But please, if we must be together as one country, we must re-negotiate the terms. It must be under agreed terms. That’s where a constituent of people’s assembly comes up.
“And for those people who are afraid: The National Assembly members are afraid. They want to amend. Can you amend a bad document? A child of illegitimacy and bastardly Decree 24. Even if you give it one million amendments, it cannot solve our problems.
“Rather, let them (National Assembly) use section 4 of the constitution which says “The National Assembly shall have powers to make laws for the peace, order and good government in Nigeria and any part thereof.”
“Do you have peace, order and good government in Nigeria today? So, they can therefore make a law using section 4, promulgating constituents of the people. That same law provides for a referendum.
In his remarks, a renowned political scientist and media scholar, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, blamed lack of the autonomy of councils on what he called “feeding bottle governance and distributive democracy.”