Crisis is currently looming in some parts of Oyo State over the order by the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter that the sacked council bosses should resume their offices tomorrow (Wednesday).
DAILY POST recalls that all the elected council chairmen who were elected during the administration of the immediate past Governor of the state, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi, have been sacked by the incumbent Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde.
It was gathered that Makinde had forwarded list of caretaker committee members in all the 33 local government areas and administrators for the 35 local council development areas to the state House of Assembly for screening.
But, Chairman of ALGON, Mr. Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, has directed all the Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen, councillors and all political appointees who were elected during the last administration in the state to resume in their respective offices tomorrow.
He added that the directive is in compliance with the judgement of Oyo State High Court dated the 6th May, 2018 and the subsisting judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which guaranteed the tenure of office of democratically elected local government councils.
Abass-Aleshinloye in the statement said, “All the democratically elected Executive Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen, Councillors and the political appointees are hereby directed to resume back to their respective Councils tomorrow, the 18th Dec, 2019.
“This directive is in compliance with the Judgement of Oyo State High Court dated the 6th May, 2018 and the subsisting judgement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which guaranteed the tenure of office of democratically elected local government councils. We must protect the rule of law from been desecrated. ALGON Oyo State’s Response to Gov. Seyi Makinde’s illegitimate Proposed Inauguration of Local Government Caretaker Committees in Oyo State.
“Despite his assurance less than 72 hours ago, that he would not disobey Supreme Court judgements on the illegality in Nigeria of any Caretaker Committee, a contraption unknown to law, Governor Makinde has finally eaten his words and dignity to breach the constitution and flout the judgements of the highest court in the land by setting up Caretaker Committees and Sole Administrators in all the local government councils and council development areas in the state.
“It is now clear that Governor Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of Oyo state, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo have declared war on our constitution, and drawn a battle line with the Supreme Court and the Judiciary as a whole by disregarding all the Judgements of the Supreme Court, and the Oyo State High Court which declared Caretaker Chairmen over Local Governments an illegality to our Constitution, and forbade the Governor from removing Elected Local Government Chairmen via unconstitutional dissolution of councils.
“Inspite of the several judgments of the Supreme Court in 2 recently decided cases declaring Caretaker Chairmen ilegal and barred such action despite the judgment of Hon. Justice A.A. Aderemi of the Oyo State High Court restraining the removal of Elected Local Government Chairmen, injunction perpetually restraining the Governor of Oyo state from appointing Caretaker Chairmen over local governments in Oyo State and voiding the unconstitutional practice in the state, the Oyo State House of Assembly yesterday at a secret session held 6pm at the House chamber hurriedly conducted the screening of 68 nominees forwarded by the Governor to the House for appointment as Caretaker Chairmen over the LGs and LCDAs in Oyo state.
“This was in defiance of direct warning letters issued by Lead Counsel to ALGON, Oyo state, and the elected Local Government Chairmen validly elected in May 2018, Adekunle Sobaloju Esq, which were served on the Attorney General, a professor of law from University of Lagos, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, as well as on the Speaker of the house of Assembly, and on Governor Makinde. The Government of Oyo state is now operating on blatant unconstitutional over-drive, despising direct court pronouncements, even from the apex court. All interventions by well meaning persons and institutions to make the government see reason that its actions are not only illegal but calculated to precipitate trouble in our state have been rebuffed.
“This atrocious step in illegality was hurriedly taken by the governor despite a perpetual order/judgement of an Oyo State High Court forbidden the dissolution of the existing democratically elected local government administration in the state which appeal by the Oyo State government is still pending. Mr. Governor’s attempt to appoint people to invade the council secretariats in the state and occupy positions that are not vacant by law is crisis ridden and a hidden agenda to cause violence in our state and disrupt the existing peace he inherited. This Invasion by Makinde’s unelected invaders and pretenders to office will be stopped and must be resisted by all democratic and peaceful means necessary.
“In line with our (ALGON, Oyo State) resolution to defend democracy and the mandate freely and fairly given to us by the electorate, all Chairmen, Councilors, Supervisors are hereby directed to resume tomorrow, Wednesday, 18th December, 2019 at their duty posts in Local Government and Local Government Development Areas Secretariats by 8:00 am.
We shall resume and defend democracy and rule of law peacefully.
“We advise the Local government employees including HLAs, DAGs, DFAs, and other Council employees not to allow the illegal caretaker appointees or the state government to implicate them in the illegal administration and operations plotted for our local councils. We urge you not to allow yourselves to be used by these political usurpers to spend by proxy, statutory funds of councils which our laws, and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have forbidden caretakers from accessing.
“A Monitoring committee will be on ground to enhance coordination and effective engagement for the next one month. Thank you the good and democracy loving people of Oyo State for your continuous support and understanding. Together, we shall defend democracy, rule of law, popular participation and good governance in our pacesetter state. Thank you.”