By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS—FORMER Secretary General, National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, Chief Ayo Opadokun, yesterday, said the policy reform initiated by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime in 1976 rendered the Local Government administration inefficient.
The former NADECO scribe’s reaction came two days after Obasanjo accused state governors of incapacitating council areas through the joint account.
He spoke at the fifth Memorial Anniversary Lecture in honour of foremost activist, Baba Omojola, themed: ‘Solution to Nigerian National Crisis: Restoration of Federalism,’ held in Surulere, Lagos State.
Opadokun said: “Unlike today, public office holders in Local Governments are those, who were never interested in money, but have penchant to serve the citizens and they did it diligently.
“Obasanjo was accusing governors two days ago over local government autonomy. I must say that his stance is not right. The Nigerian local government system was made irrelevant by him. They were operating better before the 1976 reforms. They embarked on things that will better the lots of their people.
“But immediately he assumed office, Obasanjo set up the Ibrahim Dasuki panel and it was the recommendation of that panel that nationalized the councils across the country. It was responsible for what we are experiencing today.
“They did that in order to control them at the center. That led to the death of customs, folklore and other things that the councils were known for. I urge him not to come out and make any public statement again considering the atrocities he had committed in Nigeria.”
Earlier, Prof. Kola Ogundowole said that those opposed to the need for Nigeria to retrace its step were those benefiting from the present arrangements.