By Umar Muhammad Puma
The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has backed the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, come February 16. 2019.
NULGE also said that the nation’s quest for stability at all levels cannot be achieved without the strengthening of local governments as a critical tier of government.
National President of the union, Ibrahim Khaleel, who led its members to a meeting with members of the Buhari Women and Youth Campaign Council, stated that President Buhari’s re-election would be in the best interest of the country.
Khaleel who was accompanied by dozens of NULGE’s officials from across the federation expressed optimism that the quest for local government autonomy would be actualised with the continuous stay in power by President Buhari.
Khaleel who also doubles as the national treasurer of the Nigeria
Labour Congress (NLC) said but for the machinations of the 36 states governors of the federation, President Buhari would have lived up to his promise on the 29th May 2015 on ensuring local government autonomy in the country.
“NULGE has always been with President Buhari right from 2003 when he joined politics and in subsequent elections, we were him. We had the privilege of meeting with him one on one especially during the 2011 elections and presented to him our problems as local government.
“We are happy that all of us belong to one Local Government or the other. If we are to ask our selves whether our local government are meeting the expectations of citizens like us? The answer is no. Why is our local government malfunctioning? It is because of interest of the governors. We know that the constitution of Nigeria favour local government by recognizing them as full fledge teir of government and getting up to 20 percent of the revenue. This represent distributable wealth to address poverty and hunger.
“Unfortunately, the Local Hovernment system has been hijacked. We have no reason whatsoever not to associate with President Buhari because in all his public addresses that has bearing with local government, his position has been very clear that local government must be strengthened.
“For us to have an inclusive arrangement, an arrangement that will have inclusiveness to participate in our governance and democracy,
local government must be strengthened. It was on this note and the inaugural speech of May 29, 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari that as an Organisation, we met and held series of engagement and came up with a very rich memorandum that in our own way, we will support his position.”
The chairman of the APC Women and Youth Campaign Council, Gen Buba Marwa (rtd), expressed gratitude to NULGE over the endorsement of the President, adding that Buhari would remain committed to the quest to uplift the wellbeing of workers in the country.
Marwa who is the chairman of the presidential advisory committee on the elimination of drugs abuse in the polity referred to the recently approved N30,000 national minimum wage, the release of bailout funds to states to settle salaries arrears and the payment of N24 billion Nigeria Airways pensioners claim to buttress his assertions.
Decrying the spate of drugs abuse in the polity, he canvases thee support of NULGE ahead of the launch of the War against abuse (WADA) sanctioned by President Buhari in a bid to rid the country of the menace.