The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said democracy was facing serious threat at the grassroots as a result of lack of independence for the local governments.
Speaking when he received members of the Bauchi state House of Assembly in his office yesterday, Dogara urged State House of Assemblies in the country to stop being slaves to their respective governors by supporting moves to grant them and the local governments’ financial autonomy.
He said: “There is no meaning to independence if you are not financially independent. Slaves don’t build societies, only free men do. The only authority for oversight in the state is the state assembly, but when we transmitted the proposal for amendment to the state assemblies they rejected it.”
He also lamented that in a four-year tenure, trillions of Naira were allocated to states and local governments, “but when you visit the states, you won’t see projects commensurate with the money they received.
“I am not indicting you, but speaking to your conscience, our feeling is that there has not been appropriate and effective oversight by the state legislatures.”
While calling on leaders to rise beyond the nation’s differences, unite and deliver dividends of democracy to the people, he said “if we fail to perform, they will not spare us. We should do everything to deliver on our mandate.”
The Speaker also expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for reposing so much confidence in the sons and daughters of Bauchi state, by appointing them into key federal government offices, adding that the only way to reciprocate the gesture “is for leaders in the state to deliver on their mandates to the people.”
Members of the Bauchi state House of Assembly were led at the visit by the Speaker, Hon. Kawuwa Shehu Damina, who commended Dogara for his sterling leadership qualities.
Source: The Herald