NULGE plans protests as state assemblies get constitution amendment bill

The National Union of Local Government Employees is set to hold protests across the 36 states of the federation to push for local government autonomy as the National Assembly will today (Tuesday) transmit passed bills seeking to amend parts of the 1999 Constitution to the state Houses of Assembly.

This was disclosed in an interview, by the National President of NULGE, Hakeem Ambali.

Speaking to The PUNCH on Monday, Ambali, said any legislator who voted against local government autonomy would not win re-election next year.

The Speakers of the 36 state assemblies are expected to meet in Ibadan this week on which of the amendments to support. However, some governors, including the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, have already rejected autonomy for the local governments.

Ambali said members of NULGE had been deployed across the states to press their demands.

“Our campaigns have started. There is no rest until we achieve local government autonomy. I am aware that the Speakers will be meeting in Ibadan during the week. We are continuing our lobby and we are launching operation ‘Occupy the Assembly’. A vote for autonomy will signal victory for you and if you vote against it, kick your aspiration goodbye. That is why we also attended the APC congress,” he said.

It was learnt on Monday that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Ojo Amos, would today (Tuesday) meet with clerks to state Houses of Assembly in Abuja, during which the bills would be presented to them.

A top source in the National Assembly told our correspondent that Amos was to sensitise his counterparts from the states to the constitution amendment process.

“I can confirm to you that the Clerk to the National Assembly will meet with the state clerks tomorrow (Tuesday). The bills will be given to them during the meeting,” the official said.

The National Assembly had on March 1, 2022, voted on the 68 amendments recommended by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives’ Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.

To amend a clause in the constitution, two-third or four-fifth majority of each of the Senate and the House has to approve the amendment after which it will be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly, where two-third or 24 out of the 36 of them have to concur.

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