“The basic sarcasm between the U. S system and ours is that ; while the assorted signifiers of local authorities are working admirations even when they are non mentioned anyplace in the U. S fundamental law ; ailments over the weaknesss of the Local Governments abound here even when they are entrenched in and catered for by the 1999 Constitution” . 1. INRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
All over the universe. the local authorities system is the grade of authorities that is closest to the people. It is designed to convey administration and service bringing to rural and underserved communities. It is besides an avenue for intensifying democracy and deconcentrating power through greater citizen engagement in electoral procedures and decision-making. It besides serves as an sphere for political development at the grass-roots degree. Therefore. Section 14 ( 4 ) provinces:
The composing of Government of a State. a Local Government Council. or any of the Agencies of such Government or Council. and the behavior of the personal businesss of the Government or Council or such Agencies shall be carried out in such mode as to recorgnise the diverseness of the people within its country of authorization and the demand to advance a sense of belonging and trueness among all the peoples of the Federation.
This Section of the Constitution has been termed by many writers as the “Local Government Character” . It therefore means that like what it is applicable to other legal powers. where the local authorities system is a grade of authorities so besides in Nigeria. the system of local authorities is meant to be a grade of authorities at the grass root. burdened with the exclusive duty of conveying the authorities closer to the people ; as envisaged by Section 14 ( 4 ) of the Constitution.
Harmonizing to the Black’s Law Dictionary. “autonomy” is defined as the right ( and status ) of power of self-determination. Besides. harmonizing to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary. “autonomy” is defined as: ( a ) the freedom of a state. part. or organisation to regulate itself independently ; ( B ) the ability to move and do determinations without being controlled by anyone else. However. it should be noted that ‘autonomy’ . as it is being referred to here. as noted by Ademola Yakubu ; is non that of the right of self- finding as in the instance of a state once colonised by a foreign power. The type of liberty that is relevant to this discourse is the right of the Local Government as a grade of authorities. to be as an independent. but a spouse. in the art of administration within the context of Nigeria as a Federation. Thus one may state that ‘autonomy’ in the visible radiation of the 2nd definition given by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is the closest in intending to the intended significance of Local Government liberty in this context.
Irrespective of the extended proviso for the disposal of Local Governments in Nigeria. as provided by Section7 of the Constitution ; it is saddening. the rate at which the system is bedevilled and plagued with different signifiers of malady. which has constituted a geta in the administrative wheel of Local Government in Nigeria. Constitutional power to set up local authorities. specify its construction. composing and maps. belong to the State authoritiess. To them. every bit far as it is so. the local authorities is a mere State bureau or a creative activity of the State authorities. It would hence be erroneous to see it as an independent 3rd grade of authorities. As such. the issue of liberty of local authorities becomes a myth and non a world.
Of a fact. Section 7 ( 1 ) of the Constitution makes proviso for a democratically elected Local Government Councils ; which in kernel is in conformity with the rule of being independent. . Although there had been series of Local Government reform before the present Constitution. which was meant to convey development to the grass root. unfortunately. what obtains in many local authoritiess in Nigeria today is a cocktail of waste. disregard and underdevelopment ; which should non be. Therefore. it can non be boldly asserted that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has wholly cured these defects. Therefore. the Governor of Osun State ; His Excellency. Mr Rauf Aregbesola. besides affirmed that the local authorities system is the most misunderstood and possibly the most ignored. even if it is a really critical bed of authorities.
[ 1 ] . Omotoye Oluwatumininu. 500 flat pupil. Faculty of Law. University of Ibadan. Electronic mail: [ electronic mail protected ]Tel: 08060582020. [ 2 ] . Uche Anichukwu. Thisday. the Sunday Newspaper. January 27. 2013. [ 3 ] . 1999 Fundamental law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. [ 4 ] . ibid
[ 5 ] . For illustration. Dr. J. Ademola Yakubu. ‘Constitutional Guarantee of Autonomy to Local Government Areas by the 1999 Constitution’ . John Ademola Yakubu ( erectile dysfunction ) . Socio- Legal Essays in Local Government Administration in Nigeria. published by Deymaxs Law Books ( 2003 ) . at page 7. [ 6 ] . 1999 Fundamental law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. [ 7 ] . Black. s Law Dictionary. 8th edition. pg 134.
[ 8 ] . 7th edition. International pupil Edition
[ 9 ] . Dr. J. Ademola Yakubu. ‘Constitutional Guarantee of Autonomy to Local Government Areas by the 1999 Constitution’ . John Ademola Yakubu ( erectile dysfunction ) . Socio- Legal Essays in Local Government Administration in Nigeria. published by Deymaxs Law Books ( 2003 ) . at page 1. [ 10 ] . ibid
[ 11 ] . 1999 Fundamental law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. [ 12 ] . Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria: Politicss and Challenges of the 1999 Constitution. Asaju. K. Department of Public Administration. Ahmadu Bello University. Kongo-Campus. Zaria. Kaduna State. Nigeria. International Journal of Advanced Legal Studies and Governance. Vol. 1 No. 1. 113. April 2010. Retrieved on 7th February. 2013 ; by 21:47pm. via: World Wide Web. Google. com. [ 14 ] . ‘Editorial’ . the Punch Newspaper. Wednesday. November 21. 2012. [ 15 ] . At a address delivered by the Governor as the invitee talker at the workshop on Local Government. organised by the Nigerian Bar Association ( NBA ) . at the NBA Centre. Iyaganku. Ibadan. Oyo State. on Tuesday. April 3rd. 2012.