Home Politics Election Imo political parties not prepared for council polls – NULGE

Imo political parties not prepared for council polls – NULGE

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President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Imo State chapter, Charles Okere, has said there has not been serious preparations from political parties to show their preparedness for the 21 September council polls.

Okere while speaking to journalists from Ngor Okpala extraction maintained that parties were yet to show their preparedness for the polls.

He called on political parties in the state to participate in the forthcoming council polls to foster credible alternatives.

Okere, who doubles as the vice chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress said the local government system had nosedive over the years despite the huge number of brains with heavy certifications.

He said “Most political parties may feel they don’t stand a chance but I think they should do political campaigns, field candidates. That way, they will make the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) sit up and conduct credible polls because if they fail, we will apportion blames.

“On our part, we will sensitize our members who may work as adhoc staff to do patriotic jobs, operate above board, dispassionately even as I appeal to journalists and the political class to foster credible polls”.

According to him, local government autonomy will improve NULGE saying “We are fully in support of President Bola Tinubu on autonomy because it will give communities the choice of priority project as against the same project that state governments implement across each state.

“Local government autonomy will address the issue of insecurity because they will fashion out home grown solutions to it, as well as the joint account with state governments. Once local governments get their autonomy, they will chose and implement priority needs of the people because they are closer to the people and know their needs”, Okere maintained.

According to him, the autonomy will address the issue of dissolution of elected local government representatives by state governors, a practice he frowned at, saying it contributed to the decline of councils across the country.

Further, he commended Governor Hope Uzodimma for his listening ears noting that the interventions the association proffered for the payment of salaries to all civil servants were received and acted upon swiftly.

Okere said “Some LG staff have not been paid salaries till date. I met Governor Uzodimma who showed us a report of a panel that said such people were irregularly employed. But I explained that someone who has received salaries for almost 20 years cannot be irregularly employed.

“We at NULGE did our own verification exercise and realised that the report of the committee was not totally correct. Already, we have helped the government to sieve out ghost workers and retired people. This is because the state data system doesn’t have a system to confirm who has retired but ours can.

“When we complained about the local government service commission, Governor Uzodimma dissolved it as we requested even as he has promised that retired local government staff will be part of the new one, so they provide informed decisions”, Okere said.

“Our challenge now is how to resolve the issue of people whose salaries have been stopped and how to complete the two story building a past administration built for the association to generate income. But I assure you that we will continue to champion the improvement of the local government system and staff”.

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