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LG workers begin nationwide strike today

By The Rainbow
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WORKERS in local governments across the country under the aegis the National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE)  will commence a three-day warning strike  on Monday (today), to protest the refusal of the Senate to grant autonomy for local government.

The Senate while voting on specific clauses for amendment in the country's constitution last Tuesday rejected  local government autonomy.

The House of Representatives however voted in its favour on Wednesday.
NULGE  took the decision to embark on the strike after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held recently at its national secretariat, NULGE House, Abuja.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, at the weekend, the general secretary of the union, Joshua Irapakob, commended the members of the House of Representatives for passing the local government autonomy, adding that the House had really 'averted a national catastrophe and restored people's confidence in democratic practice.'

He commended the courage of the members of the House of Representatives but decried the senators, whom he described as  selfish.

He said the union had already senstised and mobilised its members across the country for the strike, adding that 'we  met on July 23 3, where we all agreed that we should embark on three days warning strike to press home our demand.'

The Northern Local Government Chairmen Forum has urged the Senate to rescind its decision against granting of fiscal autonomy to the local government councils.

Chairman of the forum and chairman of Dekina Local Government  Area, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, while addressing newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, noted that financial and statutory autonomy would accelerate development at the rural level.

He commended the speaker and members of the House of Representatives for adopting fiscal autonomy for councils, in line with the yearning and aspirations of the people.

He, however, kicked against the removal of the immunity clause protecting the president and 36 state governors from prosecution while in office.

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), reacting to the development, said it was confident the Senate would rescind its decision on the fiscal autonomy for councils, at the bi-chamber conference, which would be held to harmonise the issue of constitution amendment.

This came as the association noted that it was easy to understand the nationwide outcry and disappointment that followed the recent vote by the Senate on the local government autonomy clause.

In a statement by its national president, Ozo Nwabueze Okafor, at the weekend, the association said 'it is very confident that the Senate will commit itself on the side of the people when the bi-chamber conference soon to be convened presents that opportunity.'