Senator Gbenga Daniel Backs Call for Local Government Autonomy

By Hussein Olanrewaju.

The former Governor of Ogun State and current Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has expressed his support for local government autonomy to ensure that rural communities benefit from democracy. He made these remarks while presenting his stewardship report at a “Dialogue with Journalists” event organized by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ogun State Council.


Senator Daniel emphasized that local governments are best positioned to address the needs of grassroots populations, particularly in remote areas. He stated, “Local governments in Ogun State used to build roads and health centers. I didn’t change the law; I believe in local government autonomy. You cannot address the problems of people in places like Maun in Ipokia Local Government Area from Abuja. Local governments are the ones who will solve their problems, so I support local government autonomy.”


He also encouraged youths in the South West region to enlist in military service and highlighted his legislative achievements, including sponsoring 11 bills at various stages in the National Assembly. He particularly noted the significance of the South West Development Commission bill, which he believes will enhance the region’s economy if passed.


As Chairman of the Committee on Navy and Vice Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Senator Daniel urged his constituents to take advantage of his networks. He mentioned that over 3,000 people have benefited from various empowerment programs and medical initiatives, which included free eye treatments, provision of glasses, training, farming equipment, grants, and loans to traders, as well as sewing machines and tools to artisans.


Responding to questions from journalists, Senator Daniel recounted his tenure as governor of Ogun State, where he employed many individuals without retrenchment. He also trained people through the OGAGEP program in skills like painting and welding, and employed graduates into the state civil service.


Regarding the system of government, he stated, “I do not believe Nigeria’s problem is the emoluments of the National Assembly, but rather corruption. I have no issue with any type of government, whether parliamentary or unicameral.”


The Chairman of the NUJ, Ogun State Council, Comrade Wale Olanrewaju, thanked Senator Daniel for attending the event and assured him of the union’s continued support. He also requested assistance in upgrading facilities at the Iwe Iroyin Press Centre and the Ogun NUJ Permanent site in Leme, Abeokuta.