Workers disrupt Ondo assembly over LG autonomy | Jobs Vox


Workers in Ondo local government on Tuesday besieged the state House of Assembly to express their displeasure at alleged actions by lawmakers who challenged the local government autonomy clause in the 1999 constitutional amendment legislative process.

State Houses of Assemblies across the country are debating the Constitutional Amendment Bills sent by the National Assembly at the beginning of the year.

The chief led the protest Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) state Bola Taiwo said workers had heard lawmakers were under pressure to vote against the government’s third-tier autonomy clause.

Workers blocked the state Assembly complex during the early hours of Tuesday’s protest.

They chanted “no independence, no elections” and vowed to keep the state out of the upcoming general elections if lawmakers oppose the provision.

As a result of the protest, only two of the 26 legislators arrived at the complex, except for the session scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

Mr. Taiwo said the lawmakers would not be allowed into the complex unless the protesters voted for local government autonomy.

He also threatened to paralyze political activities in the state due to their demands.

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There were rumors that the state government was putting pressure on the legislators to override the LG autonomy clause.

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The workers, who stormed the Assembly complex with placards, announced that they would not stand with them on the issue and reject the legislators and the party.

Some of the placards read “Yes to the independence of the Supreme Court”, “Yes to the independence of the judiciary”, “Independence, no vote”, and “We are committed to independence”.

Mr. Taiwo told the protesters that 16 states have so far endorsed the LG Autonomy Bill.

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He said that since Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had promised local government autonomy, workers had voted for his re-election, so there was no reason to oppose the provision.

The executive branch declined to comment, amid rumors it was twisting lawmakers to overturn the provision.

But the country’s parliament denied the rumours.

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The two lawmakers who participated in the protest, Feyide Olyuede representing Ose and Deputy Minority Speaker Leonard Akintomide (Ondo West), said the protesters said no one told the lawmakers to deny local government autonomy.

The lawmakers promised to deliver the letter of protest to the Speaker of the Assembly, David Oleeloogun, regretting that he did not receive it in person.

The National Assembly passes the amendment bill and leaves it to the state assemblies for final approval or otherwise.

Any provision of the amendment bill passed by the National Assembly requires approval from the 24 state Houses of Assembly.

Only provisions that exceed that threshold are referred to the National Assembly President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

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