An aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party in the upcoming Anambra 2021 gubernatorial elections, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, has described as worrisome the neglect and abuse of the local government system.
Onyemelukwe made this charge on Sunday at Nando, Anambra East LGA, when she granted a press interview at the sidelines of the second session of the fourth synod of the Anglican Diocese of Niger West.
Onyemelukwe said there are certain ambiguities that exist in Nigeria’s constitution that allow state governments to annex and treat local governments as their operational extensions, even when the local governments were created as autonomous governance structures.
Onyemelukwe, the Anambra 2017 deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, said such loopholes and neglect of local governments have rendered our federal system dysfunctional.
She appreciated legal instruments such as; executive bills, executive orders and guidelines issued by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies in successive federal governments, including the Buhari administration, have variously adopted to correct the anomaly. She futher noted that such instruments always fall short of the mark because of their inferiority to the Constitution which stands supreme to all other laws.
According to her, any meaningful approach to the issue must come through a rigorous constitutional amendment process. In the meantime, Onyemelukwe said her government, if elected, will guarantee local government autonomy by holding local government elections within its first year in office.
Earlier in his speech, the visiting Bishop, Rt. Revd. Sunday T. G. Adewole, the Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Kwara, spoke on the theme “You are Complete in Christ: The Head of Principalities and Powers.”
Onyemelukwe commended the host, Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Niger West, Rt. Revd. Johnson Ekwe, clergy and the entire members of the diocese for the successful conclusion of this year’s synod.