Makinde, ALGON To Shift Battleground To Court

Makinde, ALGON To Shift Battleground To Court

Friday, May 31, 2019 12:03 pm

Governor Seyi Makinde

Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan

On the day of his inauguration, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, declared war against the All Progress Congress, APC, and its democratically elected officers: chairmen and councilors of the 68 councils in the state. The governor, after appointing his Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka, sacked all the council’s APC officers, who have just spent one out of three years in office. Makinde, through his Chief of Staff declared that all local government authorities as well as all local council development authorities be dissolved with immediate effect. Local government chairmen were directed to hand over to their Heads of Local Government Administration, or the most senior directors in their local government areas and councils. Embargo was also placed on all local and state government accounts until further directives.

The Oyo State APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, who was shocked by the development, described the dissolution as a dictatorial act by the governor stressing that the action was “military-like”. He said, “My party, the APC will react officially soon. We are not in the military era. In the first instance, here is a man who swore to defend the Constitution, few hours later, acting with impunity, and acting in military style, dissolving democratic institutions like local government councils. The House of Assembly has not been constituted and even the so called Chief of Staff who signed the statement on behalf of the governor has not been sworn-in. This development is a very bad signal, very bad signal for good people. With this administration, we are in for problems, real problems in the state”.

In a swift reaction, the sacked council officers reacted, telling the governor that he does not have the power to sack them. They stressed that they were duly, democratically and constitutional elected, pointing out that they would give it what it deserves to ensure that they complete their tenure. The Oyo State Chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, described the action of the governor as lack of respect for the rule of law, illegal and unconstitutional.

The ALGON Chairman, Prince Abass–Aleshinloye, who noted that the governor lacked the power he just exercised said, “Oyo State ALGON rejects this unconstitutional act of Mr. Governor. It is illegal and a contempt of a subsisting court injunction against any dissolution of the councils as ordered by Justice A. A. Aderemi of High Court 2, Ibadan, Oyo State, on May 6, 2019. The action is a crude breach of the right of our people to be democratically governed at local government level as the third tier of government as copiously stated in section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.”

He stated further, “We wish to appeal to all duly elected local government chairmen, councilors, supervisors and Oyo State citizens in these respective councils to remain calm and be peaceful. ALGON will seek all democratic and constitutional means to correct this illegal act. All will be appropriately updated as events unfold. We count on your solidarity and maximum moral support in this democratic struggle”.

Corroborating this position, the Chairman, Lagelu North LCDA, noted that it was high time, the nation learnt to stop building on illegality, pointing out that the illegal act displayed by the governor would be vehemently resisted.

The Chairman, Ibadan North East Local, Prince Gbade Lana, son of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana, condemned the action of the governor, stressing that the court would soon vindicate the sacked chairmen and councils.

According to him, though, they have left the office, they have not handed over to anybody as directed by the governor, pointing out that the court would reinstate them.

Another council boss, showed his dismay over the development noting, “Makinde is educated. Makinde is enlightened and I think he is more than what he has done. He is a gentleman, who I believe should respect the nation’s constitution. Well, we have constitution and it will help us out of this quagmire that we have found ourselves. What is surprising is that Makinde, in his inaugural speech said that he would not play partisan politics in the interest of the state, but he is doing otherwise now”.

In the same direction, Oyo State ALGON’s lawyer, Barrister Kunle Sobaloju, declared the governor’s action null and void saying, “An act done in violation of the constitution is null and void. You don’t flout a court order by an act of disobedience. The proper thing the governor should have done is to assemble his team of lawyers, study the judgment and challenge it in court. You cannot dissolve elected local government chairmen by way of disobedience”.

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