Progressive Governors Not Opposed To Autonomy For Local Governments – APC



APC 600The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said its governors are not against autonomy for local governments, as reported in a section of the media on Thursday, describing such reports as a gross misrepresentation of the governors’ position on the issue.

In a statement issued in Oro, Kwara State, on Thursday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the governors are only asking that such autonomy must be determined by the State Houses of Assembly, rather than the National Assembly.

”For those who may have been misled by the media reports, we want to state our stand clearly. In the first instance, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives the State Houses of Assembly the power to create local governments. Therefore, autonomy for local governments should be debated at the Houses of Assembly, not at the
National Assembly.

”Secondly, giving control of the local governments to the federal government, one of the two federating units in a federalist system of government, will only result in the creation of a unitary government.

”And thirdly, all local government administration must be democratically elected in a free and fair election, while Chairmen and Councillors must be accountable to those who elected them.

”We are a welfarist party and we believe in accountability and abhor any system where any local government administration is not elected freely and fairly. The appointment of caretaker committees to run local governments is an aberration. This is our stand and it definitely does not represent an opposition to autonomy for local governments,” APC said.

The party said instead of creating more problems by giving the National Assembly the power to regulate local governments, ways must be found to resolve existing problems for the smooth running of local governments.

”Let us ensure that local government elections are free, fair and credible; let us ensure that Chairmen and Councillors are accountable. Let us stop the appointment of caretaker committees to run local governments because this is undemocratic. Let the State Houses of
Assembly which have the powers to create local governments also be able to determine the issue of autonomy

”Also to be looked into are the areas of responsibility of the local governments. Currently, they have the same list of responsibilities, even though their areas of priority differ. But the truth is that local governments should have different areas of responsibility. While
some may want to place emphasis on agriculture, some may prefer environment by virtue of their topography.

”On the belief that some state governments appropriate funds meant for local governments, the cure is not for the federal government to give money directly to the local governments, but for states and local governments to agree on how to ensure a judicious expenditure of local government funds. The partnership between states and local governments is very important for the overall welfare of the common man.,” APC said.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MAIDEN MEETING OF ALL PROGRESSIVE GOVERNORS FORUM HELD AT LAFIA, NASARAWA STATE ON THE 14TH OF AUGUST, 2013

After an exhaustive deliberation of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) meeting attended by H.E. Umaru Tanko AI-makura (Governor, Nasarawa State), H.E. Kashim Shettima (Governor, Borno State), H.E. Kayode Fayemi (Governor, Ekiti State), H.E. Rafiu Aregbesola (Governor, State of Osun), H.E. Babatunde Raji Fashola (Governor, Lagos State), H.E. Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi (Governor, Oyo State) H.E. Abdulazeez Yari (Governor, Zamfara State), H.E. Ibikunle A. Amosun (Governor, Ogun State), H.E. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Governor, Edo Sate) and H.E. Owelle Rochas Okorocha (Governor, Imo State represented by the Deputy Governor, H.E. Prince Eze Madumere) and with apology from H.E. Ibrahim Geidam (Governor, Yobe State) in which a number of national issues on the on-going dialogue to salvage the nation and proffer practical solutions on moving Nigeria forward as well as strategies to compliment efforts of the interim national executives to strengthen the party, It was resolved as follows:

1. The Forum commends the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for rising to the occasion in registering the All Progressives Congress in the overall national interest. The Forum hopes that such nationalistic and patriotic position of INEC shall continue to guide its conduct with respect to its statutory mandate.

2. The Forum congratulates and expresses confidence on the interim National Executive of the APC in its on-going efforts to reposition the party as a credible alternative to the teaming Nigerians that are yearning for change.

3. The Forum commits itself to the process of APC party formation and consolidation in line with the on-going efforts of the interim national leadership and with the understanding of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) as it affects the development of healthy relationship among the members of the APC.

4. The PGF discussed constitutional amendment extensively and resolved that the issue of Local Government Administration, recognizing the fact that Federalism is the basis of our sovereignty, is a matter within the purview of the Federating Unit and every attempt to legislate by the National Assembly on any aspect of Local Government Administration will tilt the country towards a unitary state. This will undermine and weaken the fundamental principles of our federalism.

5. The Forum deliberated on revenue allocation and notes that in spite of recommendations made to the Presidency, no effect has been given to the extant proposals on the need to give more funds to the states and local governments because that is where the citizens reside. The PGF further recommends that the powers to alter the revenue allocation formula currently with the Presidency should be vested in the National Assembly henceforth.

6. The Forum condemns the killing of security operatives at Alakio by the outlawed Ombatse militia and commends the Nasarawa State Government for the proactive steps taken in instituting a Judicial Commission of Enquiry with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

7. The Forum condemns unreservedly the repression in Egypt following the unconstitutional ouster of a democratically elected government and call on the International community to ensure speedy resolution of the crisis.

8. Finally, the Forum also resolved not only to complement the efforts of the Interim National Executive of the APC but also to drive the process of consolidation through accommodation and tolerance in order to carry everybody along, since democracy is a game of numbers and compromise.

Dated and signed at Lafia this 14th day of August, 2013 for and on behalf of the PGF.

H.E. Umaru Tanko AI-makura (Governor, Nasarawa State) .

H.E. Kashim Shettima (Governor, Borno State) .

H.E. Kayode Fayemi (Governor, Ekiti State) .

H.E. Rafiu Aregbesola (Governor, State of Osun) .

H.E. Babatunde Raji Fashola (Governor, Lagos State) .

H.E.lsiaka Abiola Ajimobi (Governor, Oyo State) .

H.E. Abdulazeez Yari (Governor, Zamfara State) .

H.E. Ibikunle A. Amosun (Governor, Ogun State) .

H.E. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (Governor, Edo Sate) .

H.E. Owe lie Rochas Okorocha (Governor, Imo State represented by the Deputy
Governor, H.E. Prince

Eze Madu mere ) .

H.E. Ibrahim Geidam (Governor, Yobe State) (Apologies)

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