By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKI-PARTICIPANTS at a national conference for the revamping of local government system in Nigeria has recommended a zero-party electoral system at local government areas, as a means of correcting the current defective electoral process and checking corruption and bad leadership at the third tier of government.
The forum observed that corruption and bad leadership have been major impediments to nation building in Nigeria.
In a communiquÃ© issued at the end of a one-day National forum with the theme, â€œlocal government system in Nigeria; the way forwardâ€, held at Abakaliki and organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Department of political science, Ebonyi state University, the forum maintained that the decadence in the local government system was a reflection of national decay and that funds received by local governments do not reflect the level of development at the grassroots.
It also reiterated that the electoral process that produces political office holders at local government level was defective and should be amended, adding that local government system lacks public accountability.
The forum further stated that, â€œThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should take over the conduct of elections at local government level to reduce the interference of the state governments in local government elections.
That state local government joint account should be abolished to improve the fiscal capacity and responsibility of the local governmentsâ€.
Earlier, in a lecture entitled â€œThe Nigerian Local Government System Today: The fate of the village community, which way forwardâ€, Prof J. U. J Asiegbu examined the leadership challenges confronting the third tier of government, and called for a paradigm shift in the administration of the local government system through greater involvement of the village communities.
At the forum were members of the local government from various states of the federation; senior members of the academia from the universities; the intelligentsia from the private and public sectors, top government officials and state ministry officials from Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Lagos, Osun, Cross River states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.