By Sulaimon Sheriff

The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon in Oyo State, Oba Francis Alao, Akinbola I, on Sunday, charged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to cede control of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to traditional rulers for optimal performance.

Oba Alao, who is also Vice-Chairman of Oyo State Traditional Council, made the call while speaking to newsmen on the recent visit of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to his palace at Orile-Igbon in the Surulere Local Government Area.

The monarch lamented that the ineptitude of the local government administration had contributed in no small measure to poverty in the country.

He said, “As far as we are concerned, there is no local government all over the country anymore. Its administration lacks performance. All the 774 local governments across Nigeria are not working at all. Let the traditional rulers take over the position. Also, let there be local government and judiciary autonomy. This will help the nation to grow and bring progress to the nation.

“There are lots of fantastic traditional rulers who are equipped academically more than those whom we put there. We have retired judges, military officers, accountants and a lot of others. Let them give us a constitutional role to play so that the nation can be healed. There is a lot of division all over the country. The crime rate is high because 80 percent of Nigerians are living in abject poverty.

“There is no middle-class Nigerian anymore. It is either you are poor, extremely poor or you are extremely rich. No rich Nigerian. Those who are rich, are extremely rich and they are not even up to two percent of the entire population. The rest are poor. There are no middle-class Nigerians economically.”

The paramount ruler, therefore, charged President Bola Tinubu not to base his appointment on academic qualifications alone.

He said, “President Tinubu should look at those people he is appointing. He should be able to appoint people who have a fear of God; character must be part of the criteria used in the appointment of public officers. He must choose people with good character, not only people with academic qualifications. They should have good character so that when they get to the office, they will not continue to do things the way the others have been doing.

Credit : Punch Newspaper