In a recent exclusive interview with news men, HRM Etinyin Edet, the Chairman of the Cross River State Traditional Rulers Council and paramount ruler of Bakassi Local Council, emphasized the imperative for both federal and state governments to prioritize local council autonomy.
Recognizing the local council system as a vital training ground for future politicians, he underscored the importance of allowing it to fulfil its constitutional functions to address the prevailing insecurity in the country.
Speaking from Calabar, Etinyin Edet shed light on various traditional and political issues, with a particular focus on the autonomy of local governments and the broader concern of insecurity. Despite the clear provisions in the 1999 Constitution for the strengthening of government and administration at the grassroots through the local council system, he observed a lack of consensus among the political class regarding the status of local councils nationwide.
The monarch stressed that the local council, being closest to rural communities, plays a pivotal role, and autonomy is essential to ensure that the benefits of democracy reach the people.
Noting the unique position of local councils as a bridge to rural populations, Etinyin Edet urged authorities to acknowledge the significant impact that granting autonomy to the local council can have on fostering democratic benefits for citizens.
As the debate surrounding the status of local councils continues, the monarch’s insights underscore the potential role of local autonomy in addressing both political and security challenges at the grassroots level.