Chairmen of the 33 Local Government and 35 Local Council Development Areas, under the aegis of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, have accused the Governor Seyi Makinde-led government of planning to institute caretaker committees in all the council areas in the State.
The group made the allegation in a statement entitled, “Alert : Constitutional breach as Oyo state government plans to inaugurate local government caretaker committee”, issued and signed by the Chairman, Prince Ayodele Abass-Aleshinloye and PRO, Niyi Adeagbo.
The ALGON statement reads in part, “In a panicky step to preempt the possibility of losing its appeal against the high court judgement perpetually restraining it from dissolving the local government, Oyo state government has concluded plans to constitute caretaker committees in all the 33 local government councils and 35 development areas in Oyo state.”
ALGON said the step is illegal, an executive rascality and an affront on the Judiciary and the rule of law by the new administration that is desperate to return Oyo State to the old way of lawlessness and politics of settling constitutional matters by political thuggery.
According to the statement, “This is impunity and a resort to self help which should not be tolerated. It will be recalled that our case of contempt of court against the government was adjourned to July 30th, 2019 by Justice Ladiran Akintola of High Court 9, Ibadan with his Lordship’s order that the parties maintain the status quo ante.”
The association lamented that while other states are moving on to developmental politics and agenda for their people, Oyo State is retrogressing into illegality, recklessness and lawlessness through a government that was sworn-in to defend the constitution it now tramples upon with impunity.
The statement says, “As a result of this, we are drawing the attention of Federal the Government and Oyo State government to the NFIU directive which restricts the beneficiary of the monthly allocation to only the democratically elected chairmen and not the caretaker arrangement already declared by the Supreme Court and the Oyo state High Court as illegal and which is not constitutionally recognised.”
Breach of Constitution
ALGON declared that any attempt to constitute caretaker committees, interim chairmen, sole administrators/managers or any such illegal contraption would be tantamount to a breach of the constitution, the rule of law and an illegality which is an impeachable offence against the Governor, under the constitution.
ALGON therefore, through the statement, appealed to traditional rulers, eminent Oyo State indigenes and all people of good conscience to prevail on the government to allow peace to reign by following the path of the rule of law on which democratic government is based, noting that if the government claims to have appealed the judgment, it should await the outcome of the appeal
“We will continue to uphold the law and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we will not allow our State to be returned to a state of brigandage and lawlessness,” the statement reads.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Makinde, his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.Taiwo Adisa, said the Governor did not know ALGON as a group of mind readers who can predict or preempt what the Governor has in mind.
Adisa noted that, “It is unfortunate that they have turned themselves to mind readers and a group of people who would go to whatever level to know the mind of the Governor. We can only appeal to them not to reduce the body to the level of jesters where anybody will just wake up on the side of their bed and begin to make funny conjectures.”,
He declared that the Governor has not discussed any such thing with anyone, adding that ALGON is trying to raise a false alarm where none exists.