THE President, Igbo Youth Congress (IYC), Mr Bright Ezeocha, on Sunday said that only local government autonomy would bring the real change to the ordinary Nigerians at the grassroots.
Ezeocha told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that there could not be development at the grassroots as long as local governments remained appendages of the state.
According to him, the federal and state governments must consider local government autonomy if the condition of the masses at the grassroots will improve.
“There can’t be meaningful development if local governments are still at the mercy of the state and if council elections do not have relevance again.
“There have never been local government elections for so many years now in some states. Of course, with the situation, there can’t development and the people should not expect any real change in their condition.
“This issue must be addressed urgently to really give the masses hope. This is government that is closest to the people.
“Local governments cannot be relegated to the base of relevance and we keep expecting grassroots growth. If we continue like this, Nigeria will go nowhere,’’ he said.
Ezeocha urged the Federal Government and the leadership and members of the National Assembly to redirect their attention to the need for local government functionality.
He also said that state governments and State Houses of Assembly need to work hard to restore the glory of local governments.
“If our state governments care to give hope to the masses at the grassroots, efforts should be made to make local governments to perform its powers enshrined in the constitution,’’ he added.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to revive the economy and do more to reduce cost of governance.