The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has said President Muhammadu Buhari was only playing to the gallery with his show of support for a total autonomy for local governments in the country.
“Local governments’ autonomy is at the level of the State, not federal government and the President should rather obey the existing laws of the country and support the restructuring of the country to enable true federalism instead of trying to set the local councils against the States,” the party said.
The party, which said his government was not interfering with the Local Government administration in Ekiti State, counselled President Buhari to stop using agencies of the federal government to harass and intimidate functionaries of State governments in the country, despite that “States are autonomous of the Federal Government under the federal system being practiced in the country.”
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, by the State Publicity Secretary, Mr Jackson Adebayo, the PDP said President Buhari do not have any authority on local governments in the country as the 1999 Constitution (as amended) conferred the power to legislate on local government administration on the States House of Assembly.
The party said President Buhari should rather see to the payment of the $3.2 billion being owed local governments in the country by the federal government instead of “playing to the gallery on local councils’ autonomy which he has no authority over.”
It said; “The President has no authority on the local government. It is a constitutional amendment that requires two-third of the 36 States House of Assembly and even as it is, it only requires the political will from State governors, like we have done in Ekiti State for local governments to function without undue interference from State governments.
“Coming from President Buhari, who has refused to obey the provisions of the 1999 Constitution that he swore to obey, talks about constitutional amendment on local governments administration in Nigeria is at best, playing to the gallery.
“As for us in Ekiti State, without any constitutional amendment, our governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose does not interfere in the affairs of local governments, and it important that President Buhari is reminded that he lacks power to interfere in the running of Ekiti State and other States in Nigeria.”