After the constitutional amendment process has been slow and some state Houses of Assemblies have apparently abandoned the process, many are questioning whether the protests will lead to autonomy for the LGs.
The National President, United Union of Local Government Workers of Nigeria, Akeem Ambali, has said the union plans to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari next week over the delay of the Local Government Autonomy Bill.
The association said it would hold rallies across the country as part of its campaign for the expedited passage of the bill in various state assemblies.
On March 29, 2022, the National Assembly forwarded 44 draft laws on amendments to the Constitution to the 36 parliaments of the country for consultation.
The bills seek to amend various sections of the 1999 Constitution.
On March 1, 2022, the National Assembly voted on 68 amendments proposed by the Special Ad Hoc Committee to Review the 1999 Constitution of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
To amend a provision of the Constitution, the amendment must be approved by a two-thirds or five-fourths majority of each of the Senate and House, after which the amendment is referred to the state House of Assembly, and two-thirds, or 24, to the state House of Assembly. 36 of them must agree.
However, nine months after the bills were passed, many states said they had refused to vote on local government autonomy.
As of December 6, 2022, 21 states have approved the amendment bill, the Speaker of the Conference of Speakers of Parliament, Abubakar Suleiman, had earlier said.
The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, met on October 18 respectively. , 2022, expressed his anger at the delay in discussing the bills in the state assembly.
Both Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who are concerned about the lukewarm response to the constitutional review process, have called for quick passage of the amendment bills.
To this end, Ambali said: “We are planning to hold campaigns and rallies in state assemblies to ensure its introduction from next week.
“We also want the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to launch an aggressive media campaign with NGOs, civil society groups and the labor movement.”
But many Nigerians have expressed concern over the reluctance of politicians, especially some governors and members of the State House to pass the bill.
They are now calling on the unions to mobilize for a demonstration for the passage of the LG Autonomy Bill.
But only time will tell if the protests will give rise to LG’s independence.