The gradual abandonment of democratically elected local government chairmen and ward representatives is fast becoming the norm in the country. It is a sure way to eradicate grass-roots democracy and impose absolute authority and total oppression.
Some selfish governors exploit this to appoint members of their families and loyalists to power. Some even do so to compensate and appease their godfathers.
People appear too weak to protest against the anomaly. The generations unborn will not forgive those politicising local government elections.
The local government is the bedrock of a democratic system. Not all citizens can have access to their governors and commissioners.
But at the local government, it is much more easier to see the chairmen and ward representatives to discuss and demand for developmental plans in communities.
The monthly radio and television forums that governors once used to communicate with people in their states have were abolished when it became obvious that the citizens had become bitter about their poor performances.
The governors have tactically disenfranchised people from electing their representatives at the local level. Where are the human rights activists, the labour union and the civil groups?
They have all gone to sleep. They seem too weak to protest and have no direction.
Individuals, groups and communities construct roads and drainages and provide electricity for themselves, yet taxes, levies and commissions are being paid. Ironically, our selfish leaders feed and fend for their families and relatives with taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
We must grow intellectually and focus on grass-roots developments. Until then, democracy in Nigeria is just a pretence. Enough of bias and nepotism, and enslaving generations unborn in abject poverty and destitution.
The debate on local government autonomy has been raging for many years now and I feel strongly that it is high time the Presidency and the National Assembly took a decisive step to consider it.
It is worrisome that the Federal Government which disburses billions of naira to local governments through state accounts does not care about how the funds are expended. Where are those voices that used to insist on good governance and holding the government accountable?
Corruption is gathering momentum everyday and is determined to fight back.
We are in a country where people’s conscience seems to be dead. An ex-governor was sentenced go a five-year jail term, only to be granted bail on the lame excuse of health grounds.
But the person who stole N500 remains condemned in a single cell in Kirikiri prisons, while some are set ablaze by angry mobs.
How many politicians that mismanaged allocations and misrepresented people have been so treated?