Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Thursday sent list of names of nominees for caretaker chairmen and sole administrators for the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas ( LCDAs) in the state, against the order of the state High Court, restraining the governor and the state House of Assembly from dissolving local governments and appointment of caretaker chairmen.
Though the names of the nominees are yet to be known, the state House of Assembly is expected to screen the nominees on Monday 16 December, as a matter of urgency before proceeding on annual recess on 17 December.
A source close to the state House of Assembly disclosed to The Nation that governor Makinde has resolved all lingering issues that have delayed constituting the caretaker chairmen, including all existing legal bottlenecks.
But, the Association of Local government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State has decried the action of the governor over the planned appointment of caretaker Chairmen for the council areas in the state by Governor Seyi Makinde.
ALGON Chairman in the State, Prince Ayodeji Abass – Aleshinloye described the plan as tales by moonlight on grassroots Democratic Governance.
According to Abass-Aleshinloye, the Governor’s plan is a tale better told to the un-informed and co-deceptive wreckers of the democratic Culture.
The ALGON Chairman described democracy as a seed that germinates and develops on the practice and strict adherence to the rule of law and a willingness to entrench the democratic culture by its proponents.
“So far, Gov. Makinde’s undemocratic disposition and flagrant disobedience, with impunity, of court orders by illegally dissolving constitutional bodies, elected democratic local government structures, breaches of contractual obligations, in Oyo State clearly shows a despotic government. Perhaps the governor may want democracy, but it appears his spirit is too weak to take the necessary courageous steps to be on the right path for its evolution”, he said.
Abass-Aleshinloye drew the Governor’s attention to the subsisting judgments of the Supreme Court that declared as illegal, null and void, any dissolution of elected local government councils by state governors and state assemblies.
“The governor is fully aware of this and the specific judgement of the Oyo State High Court, which re-emphasized same and restrained the Oyo State governor and House of Assembly from dissolving local governments and appointment caretaker chairmen.
“Gov. Makinde did not only consciously flout these subsisting court orders / judgements, he also took other dangerous steps by illegally dissolving OYSIEC, a constitutional body with a specified tenure provided by our constitution. To add salt to the injury, His Excellency moved a notch further in acts of illegality by seeking to bribe members, through monetisation, of OYSIEC dissolution which has raised both moral and legal questions as to the reckless use of tax payers’ money for illegal, selfish and partisan ends.
“This Governor continues with reckless abandonment to abuse his oath of office by constantly reiterating he would conduct local government elections into councils next year, even while the tenure of our members subsist. Is this the said people’s mandate, to trample on everything sacred in our constitution? We will not abandon our mandate by the good people of Oyo state, nor allow sudden opportunistic advisers of the Governor to derail democratic norms, values and culture in our dear state.
“We will not compromise the people’s mandate to us, but only appeal to our dear citizens of Oyo state across the Local governments and LCDAs to keep faith with constitutionality. The acts of impunity shall be set aside by our Courts by the grace of God, and in expression of the will of the people. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and of our constitutional democracy”, the ALGON Chairman further said.
The ALGON chair warned that any attempt as being contemplated by the Governor to impose Caretaker arrangements on all the Local Governments in Oyo State against series of court judgements which his administration has appealed to, shall be vehemently rejected as this may heat up the polity and eventually lead to a state of emergency.
He explained that “The aftermath of this may not be palatable, as his continual and flagrant disobedience to the court judgements may not only lead to the outbreak of laws and orders but may end up consuming the governor himself.
It is advisable at this juncture, that the governor gives due regards to the rule of law to which he has sworn to uphold by towing a path of constitutionality in order to forestall a state of anarchy”.
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