LG Polls: Why State Govs Are Afraid; June 11, 2012

Nigeria, last week marked her 13 years of unbroken democracy. This was the longest since the nation’s independence in 1960. Perhaps, acting on popular opinion, President Goodluck Jonathan decided to honour Alhaji Moshood Abiola, the supposed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, by renaming the University of Lagos, UNILAG, a federal government-owned university after him. This has elicited mixed reactions. This did not take away the fact that the president acted on the past interest of the country. We rejoice with Nigerians for marking 13 years of unbroken democracy. 
Our cover this week is on the local government system. As the third tier of government, everything seems to have gone wrong with the system. The governors have contrived a system whereby the local government chairmen become mere paymasters. The joint state/local government account has crippled activities at the councils. But the biggest problem facing the local government system in the country is lack of democracy. About 27 states have not conducted local government elections in the past five years. Even those that had the courage to do so manipulated the outcome to favour the party in power in the state. This has attracted the attention of members of the House of Representatives, who are mandated by law to legislate for states where state assembly is not in place. 
At the editorial meeting last week, the issue was critically examined and Assistant Editor, George Emine, was told to handle the report.
   Nnamdi Okore-Affia, director-general of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, is one Nigerian who hates ‘African time.’ As a guest to the Nigerian Newsworld/Nigerian Pilot Leadership Forum last week, Okore-Affia arrived some 15 minutes before the commencement of the programme. That was the first time government official could arrive before the time billed for the programme. We wish other government officials could imitate the NYSC DG. This is real transformation Nigerians are yearning for.


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