Rivers rights group backs FG on local government autonomy 

The Defence for Human Rights and Democracy (DHRD) has thrown its weight behind the federal government’s decision to drag state governors to court over local government autonomy. 

Addressing a press conference Tuesday in Port Harcourt, chairman of DHRD, Mr. Clifford Solomon, said removing state governors’ interference will enable local authorities to effectively implement development plans and policies that are  beneficial the people and guarantee grassroots development . 

 According to the chairman, DHRD also said the autonomy of the third tier of government would empower the grassroots to adequately address the needs of the local communities more efficiently and directly.

“We urge state governors, particularly the governor of Rivers state, to stop interfering in local government administration. Such interference has created setbacks,” he stressed.

 He berated Governor Fubara for allegedly withholding local government funds, describing it as a violation of local government laws, which undermines the ability of local authorities to function effectively. 

“Local government officials, including chairpersons and appointees, are currently unable to access their funds and wages, which is unacceptable and detrimental to local governance.

 “These actions should not be driven by political sentiments or affiliations. The governor of Rivers state should reconsider the withheld funds and release them immediately to support the local government operations and to enable them closeout smoothly at the end of their tenure,” he stated.