By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJAâ€”FEDERAL lawmakers from Lagos State yesterday accused the Federal Government of playing double standard in opposing the creation of 37 new local councils in the state.
The lawmakers, under the aegis of Lagos Caucus of the National Assembly, said the government was double dealing by mounting continuous oppositions on the creation of local councils in Lagos State since they were created in 2002, but has, however, given recognition to those created in other states.
Leader of the caucus, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora (AC) Lagos East, said in Abuja that the governmentâ€™s opposition is a divisionary strategy to distract the Lagos State Government from working.
He said, â€œWe make bold to say from the outset that the issue is needless, diversionary and a futile attempt to distract the Lagos Government from her lofty goals and objectives of good governance. Similar new councils were created at one time or the other in Ebonyi, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Katsina and some states.
They did not receive the kind of oppositions being visited on Lagos State today by the Federal government.â€Â He said the opposition of the local councils was uncalled for since it does not contravene the constitution, and that it does not require any extra-funding from the Federal Government.
He said, â€œThe 37 new local councils were created in Lagos State in 2002, the validity of this exercise was affirmed by the Supreme Court but that the councils are inchoate to the extent that the National Assembly was yet to make consequential provisions under section 8 (5).
â€œYou will recall that the funding of local government councils is via the state joint local government account created under section 162 (6) of the constitution. The distribution of this money is on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the state.
â€œAll the foregoing laws have been duly confirmed as validly enacted by the various courts of the land. No court of the land has made any pronouncement to the effect that the creation of new local councils in Lagos is illegal or unconstitutional.
â€œIt will appear that when any of these acts favours the ruling party, it is right, but when on the other hand, it does not favour the ruling party is wrong. This is not justice, justice is even handed.â€