Local Government Autonomy and Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria: An Analysis of The Legislative Arm of Government In Boki Local Government Area, Cross River State
This paper interrogates the issue of local government autonomy and democratic consolidation in Nigeria with emphasis on the legislative arm of government in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State. Local government is seen as the people's government because it operates mainly at the grass root involving the rural people for rural development. The operational efficiency of this system is based on developing rural capacity for the purpose of consolidating the state and federal governments in the transformation of the society. Base on secondary data, predicated on qualitative descriptive analysis, this paper is of the view that the current Local Government system is a product of the 1976 Local Government Reforms as well as the introduction of the presidential system in the Local Government system in 1991 which today determines its operational dynamics as contained in the 1999 constitution. It is also established that these constitutional provisions contain some contractions that have been exploited by some State Governments, depriving the local governments of their autonomy, thus making them unable to meet the needs for its introduction. This has affected to a large extent, the benefits this system could bring for the rural people. On this basis this paper is recommending an urgent review of these constitutional contradictions as the only way forward if local government autonomy is to achieve its desired impact.