The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has attributed the rise in cases of banditry, kidnapping, and other criminalities to ineffective local government systems across the country, saying, if they are effective, some of these issues would have been solved earlier before now.
Lawan added that for the councils to function as expected and to complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments on security, they must be granted autonomy by the state governors and be made to perform their duties as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.
He made the allegations on Thursday after joining President Muhammadu Buhari and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to observe the Eid prayer at the presidential villa in Abuja.
In an interview with newsmen, the senate president argued that the insecurity across the country has remained a source of worried to everyone including the President who had adopted several strategies to end the killings across Nigeria.
He said: ” I believe that there is a solution to the insecurity and one of the solutions is for us to get the local government back and functioning as stipulated by the country’s constitution. Before now, we have diminished the local government system.
“I believe that if the councils are functioning as expected, we can delegate some of these lesser responsibilities of the Federal and State Governments to them. But we do not have functioning councils in Nigeria.
“This is the time for us to ensure that the local governments begin to function as expected in the country. This is to ensure that we solve the security challenges that we face. We must not neglect them. It has worked before and can still do it now.
“We need to give them autonomy. And when they get this, they will be able to complement the efforts of apex and state governments towards achieving a better society for all”.
He, meanwhile, appealed to Nigerians especially public officeholders to exercise patience with the federal government and avoid partisanship while dealing with security challenges.
He said: “The president is reaching out to all the stakeholders and I believe that any elected public office holder should avoid partisanship because we are all leaders irrespective of the level of government that we are across the country”.