By Sylvanus Okpe
The Oyo State chapter of the Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON) has taken exception to a planned appointment of caretaker Chairmen for the 33 local government areas in the state by Governor Seyi Makinde.
The ALGON Chairman in the state, Prince Ayodeji Abass – Aleshinloye insinuated that the plan could ignite a crisis in the state.
He described the proposed move 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 said democracy was 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”.
Abbas-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”.
“Gov. Makinde did not only consciously flout these subsisting court orders/judgements, but 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 taxpayers’ 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 an expression of the will of the people. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and of our constitutional democracy.”