Organised labour on Friday afternoon stormed the venue of a scheduled meeting of state governors in Abuja carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs to push the call for autonomy for state Houses of Assembly, Judiciary and Local Government council.
Organised labour urged the governors to drop their opposition against the independence in the three arms of government.
At the venue of the meeting, most of the governors, on sighting the placards- carrying protesters at the entrance of Fraser Suites, Abuja, immediately reversed their vehicles and left the place.
Addressing the workers who gathered in front of the meeting venue, at Fraizer Suites, located at the Central Business Area in Abuja, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba said that the Labour movement wants an unhindered local government system.
He also said that the failure of the local government system in the country and the inability of the three arms of government in the state to operate independently have brought a lot of challenges to the country.
The NLC president said: “All of us could recall that the issue of autonomy and independence for these three arms of government to actually operate independently, have been an issue in Nigeria. And that has led to a lot of challenges.
“I can say as a matter of fact, it is because the local government system is not working. That is why the security architecture of Nigeria today has collapsed.
“There is no security anywhere because that tier of government that provides all the necessary information and all the necessary were without, to attend to issues of insecurity is no longer functional.
“In fact, some of their responsibilities, including fixing roads, building coal beds, and creating employment opportunities have been taken over. And that is why you see people now moving a mass from the state capitals and the local governments, to the city centres is a very chaotic process.”
Wabba said that labour wanted the country to put an end to all obstacles that hinder the effective delivery of services to the people.
“We must put this to an end. We can have the system reverse, because we have also competent people, people well educated that our men in the local governments, we have all careers, we have professors and the other professionals just like in the other tiers of government that if given the chance they will be able to attend to all these challenges that is now hindering development of our system.
“And that is why we have taken it as a major campaign to every nook and cranny that every politician, be the chairman of a local government, members of the State Assembly should endorse this bill, on the autonomy of the local governments,” he said.
The NLC boss said that if democracy at the local government level is destroyed, “then one can be assured that what we are going to have at the centre will be a mirage.”
He said that labour decided to gather at the place because it learnt that the Governors Forum and the speakers of the assembly, will be meeting there.
“If they are meeting here, they must put the issue on the agenda. That is why we are here. What is our demand? Autonomy must be on the agenda of the meeting. That is why we are here.
“The next level of our campaign comrades, because I’m aware that the meeting is supposed to stand by for we will live up here. Anybody coming in must be able to listen to us and I will tell them why we are here is autonomy,” he said.