Dr Abubakar Lawal, a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, has called for abolition of States Electoral Commission to strengthen the autonomy of local government councils in Nigeria.
Mr Lawal, who lecture at the Department of Public Administration of the university said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, on Thursday in Zaria.
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should be mandated to conduct election into local government councils in the country.
“The National Assembly should amend the existing laws on local governments to empower Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct election into local government councils in the country.
“The amendment should make provision for local government election to be conducted simultaneously with Presidential/National Assembly Election, Governorship/State House of Assembly Election,” Mr Lawal said.
He said elected Local Government Chairmen and Councillors should also be allowed to enjoy four year tenure in office to strengthen democracy at the grassroots.
“As it is now, there no consistency as to the tenure of local government chairmen of councilors in office,’’ he said.
Mr Lawal said that local government councils deserved full autonomy because they were the system of government close to the grassroots.
“There are lots of expectations from the masses on this tier of government, hence the need to strengthen its administrative and financial autonomy,” he said.
He explained that administrative autonomy indicated that a local government should have capacity and manpower to run its administrative activities independent of State Government.
Mr Lawal noted that lack of administrative autonomy has always been the bane of local government councils in Nigeria.
He said that local government councils in the country also lacked political autonomy as state governors decided who become their chairmen or councilors.