See Anambra Gov Soludo Reaction As Supreme Court Grant LG Autonomy

The Anambra state governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, has welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement granting financial autonomy to local governments, describing it as a great decision that aligns with his administration’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

Soludo, who spoke to journalists at the State House, Abuja, after a meeting with President Tinubu Ahmed Tinubu, emphasised the need for resources to reach the grassroots and promote accountability and transparency in public resource management.

“That’s great. I mean, the Supreme Court is supreme, it’s the final authority and am a Democrat. I believe in the rule of law and once the Supreme Court has spoken, it has spoken and I understand the Governors Forum is meeting to review this.

“I haven’t seen the document myself. I’ve been extremely, very busy all through the day, but I’ve seen snippets of it. But at a fundamental level, yes, we need resources to get down to the real grassroots and we need the people’s money to work for them at all levels, whether at the federal or the state and the local government.

“We need to promote accountability. We need to promote transparency in the utilization of public resources at all levels, to be able to lift the burden off the common man”, he said.

He acknowledged that Anambra State has not held local government elections in a while, but reassured that his administration is committed to fulfilling its promise to conduct elections, having passed the Independent Electoral Commission law and established institutions to facilitate the process.

He, however, noted that lingering litigation had hindered local government elections in the past, but expressed determination to resolve the issue and conduct elections as appropriate.

The governor highlighted his administration’s efforts to ensure resources reach local governments, paying teachers, pensioners, and primary health workers.

Well, we will certainly. I mean when I was elected in office, that’s one of the things I promised our people because in Anambra, we haven’t had, to be honest with you, I think the first local government election we had was in 1998 or something thereabout and then the next one was in 2014 or 2013. And that was it. I mean, finished one and a half years or two years thereabout and even the institutions the place is quiet, not strengthened.

“So for me, I promised the people of Anambra that we’re going to have local government election, and I stated that in my inaugural speech. We’ve just passed the Independent Electoral Commission law of Anambra state and we’re putting together the institutions to be able to organize that. It is a promise I made as mentioned it before, and when I make a promise.

“I am serious about keeping. And even the way that that has been run so far, at least under my administration, the resources of the local government, we’ve made sure that the resources get down to the local governments to address their staff, I mean paying teachers, paying the pensioners, and paying primary health workers and, and so on and so forth.

“So, for my state, I mean, which is the other thing that is peculiar, is that there has been a lingering litigation, for example, that stopped local government elections in the past and that particular litigation is still in the courts, so to speak, we’re going to see how we handle all of that and to organize a local government election as appropriate.

“I’m a believer in having a democratic system. Like I said, I made a firm commitment to that and I don’t say what I will not do”, he said.

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