Yakasai kicks over Afenifere’s call to delete LGAs from 1999 constitution

Second Republic politician, Tanko Yakasai, has hit out at recent calls made by Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, the removal of the list of local government areas from the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Yakasai, speaking to Sunday Sun, made it clear that the issue they were canvassing was chiefly a constitutional matter.

He added that there was no way anybody or group would wish it on other Nigerians without reverting to the National Assembly.

He noted that the legislators were presently embarking on an amendment of the constitution, advising the Yoruba group to, therefore, sponsor or take up their suggestion to the National Assembly as specified by the constitution.

He said that their position for whatever excuse or presumed merit would invariably undermine the development of the third tier of government and hurt the people at the grassroots.

It would be recalled that the Afenifere had recently called for the deletion of the list of local government areas from the 1999 constitution in the spirit of true federalism.

In a communiqué released after a special meeting of its national caucus on Tuesday, Afenifere faulted the suit initiated by the Federal Government seeking full autonomy for the country’s 774 LGAs.

The group, which met at the residence of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, explained that the LGA autonomy suit was a “clear demonstration of lack of political will to restructure the country.”

They had observed that the reliefs being sought by the Federal Government would amount to nothing, except Section 162 (6) of the 1999 Constitution was not amended.

Section 162 (6) states that: “Each state shall maintain a special account to be called the State Joint Local Government Account, into which shall be paid all allocations to the local government councils of the state from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State.”

Afenifere had affirmed that the business of LGAs should be for the federating units, noting that listing LGAs in the Constitution was “antithetical to the principles of Federalism”.

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