By Gladys Ekwu
Onitsha South Local Government Area of Anambra State on September 1, 2021 was among the 774 LGAs in the federation to organize official prayer sessions to achieve local government autonomy.
The local government areas in Nigeria were directed by their management to resort to prayers so that their longtime struggles to have democratic structures in LGAs will be realised.
Speaking to State Information Officers shortly after the prayer meeting, the Head of Personnel Management (HPM), Onitsha South Local Government Area, Mrs. Dorathy Nwokoye, said that the prayers for autonomy of LGAs was a welcome development.
Mrs. Nwokoye noted that the autonomy of LGAs was for the benefits of the grassroots as there would be more development of public oriented projects in the rural areas.
She stated that, there were many capable hands at LGAs who were disposed to use their wealth of experience to independently pilot the affairs of the grassroots.
She however, expressed hope that their dream of clinching the autonomy will be realised in no long time.
Also, the Head of Department (HOD) Works, Onitsha South LGA, Mr. Cosmos Nwafor said that the benefits of autonomy of Local Government Areas in the federation cannot be over-emphasised.
Mr. Nwafor who is also an executive member of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) stated that they resorted to prayers so that God will intervene in the matter.
Mr. Nwafor said that the union has made relentless efforts to ensure that local government sreas in the country to have democratic structures but all to no avail.
According to him, local government workers have been in forefront in the longtime fight for it.
“In the past, the union has gone to Abuja for demonstrations and as well attended construction review panels in Enugu and Owerri at zonal level to ensure that state governments comply to it but it was not working.
That is why we want to seek God’s intervention and we believe that with God, all things are possible”, he added.
He added that autonomy of Local Government Areas will help the development of rural areas such as street roads and other projects.
Mr. Nwafor called upon on the traditional rulers, President Generals, Community leaders and other stakeholders in communities to lend their voice to ensure that there are elective and democratic structures in Local Government Areas.
He added that with the stakeholders understanding the importance of the autonomy of LGAs, they will help to facilitate its achievements