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Rights Activists, Journalists, Trade Unionists In Osun Step Up Agitation For Passage Of LG Autonomy Bill In Constitution Amendment

Human Rights activists, media practitioners and trade unionists in Osun State have stepped upthe agitation for the passage of the bill on local government autonomy as the formed a

Coalition to champion the struggle.

The Osun Coalition for Actualization of Local Government Autonomy (OSCALGA) was unveiled at Comrade Ola-Oni Center in Osogbo, capital of Osun State Thursday, March 29.

The stakeholders said it was imperative for them to work together on the agitation for the passage of the bill on the autonomy for Local Government in the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution.

Addressing a press conference at the unveiling, the Osun Coalition for Actualization of Local Government Autonomy urged the State House of Assembly to support and vote for local government Autonomy in the interest of the people at the grassroots.

The National Vice President of The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), South West, Comrade Oludare Famoofo who spkme on behalf of the Coalition highlighted progress in the agitation for the local government Autonomy and expressed optimism that their efforts would not be in vein.

The Coordinator of the Coalition, Comrade Wale Adebisi and the Director General of the Committee for Democracy and the Rights of the People (CDRP), Comrade Amitolu Shittu urged the Osun State House of Assembly to pass the local government Autonomy bill into law as demanded by the people.of Osun state.

According to the Coalition, "We urge Osun State House of Assembly to conduct a transparent public hearing on local government  autonomy without hesitation so as to allow the people of the state to have input in the process."

"We urge the members of Osun State House of Assembly to be bold enough to face the reality and act in accordance with the aspiration of the people they represent by voting YES to local government autonomy."

"We appeal to our amiable governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola to support Local Government autonomy and ensure the passage of the bill to further demonstrate that he is truly a man of the people and that he will always put the people first."

"It would be recalled that late last year, 15 (fifteen) bills were transmitted by the National Assembly to the 36 (thirty six) Houses of Assembly in Nigeria for the concurrence votes in order to amend the relevant sections of the 1999 Nigeria constitution. Two of these bills are specifically meant to strengthen the Local Government System in Nigeria, these bills are bill 5 & 6.

"Bill 5 contains Distributable Pool account  An Act to alter the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to abrogate the State Joint Local Government Accounts and empower each Local Government Council to maintain its own special account and make provisions for savings in the Federation Account before distribution to other levels of Government; and for related matters.

"Bill 6 contains Local Government  An Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to strengthen Local Government administration in Nigeria; and for related matters.

"While 13 (thirteen) bills had been treated by all the 36 Houses of Assembly, only twelve Houses of Assembly had treated bills 5 & 6 and 24 (twenty four) of them left the two bill pending. 9 of the Houses of Assembly treated the bills favorably by voting “Yes” while 3 of them voted “No” thereby rejecting the bills.

"Osun State is one of the Houses of Assembly that are yet to treat the bill and had slated the bill for public hearing.

"The Osun Coalition for Actualization of Local Government Autonomy believes that granting Local Government Autonomy would restore and improve socio-economic at the grassroots level and aid rapid development and national stability.

"We are imploring our legislators in the Osun State Houses of Assembly

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