Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and Councillors in all the 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Oyo State, who were recently sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde of the state on Thursday, vowed to defend their mandate said to be given to them by the people in their respective areas, through all legal means.
The elected local government chairmen and councillors under the auspices of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), made this declaration during a press conference, held at the Council secretariat, Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan, the state capital.
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde had dissolved all local government chairmen in the state with immediate effect sometime in May 2019.
Makinde, in a statement through his Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka, asked the Council chairmen to handover to the head of local government administration or the most senior directors in their local government areas and councils.
Since then, the state Governor and the embattled Chairmen have been trading words.
Makinde, recently through his Chief of Staff, Bisi Ilaka, had said that he has perfected plans to replace the embattled Chairmen.
However, the embattled Chairmen and Councillors have described Makinde’s action as an act of illegality, executive rascality and an affront to the judiciary and the rule of law, the plans of the governor to appoint caretaker chairmen and sole administrators to the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas of the state.
The council bosses alleged that the plan is the Governor’s way of breaking the peace and return the state to the old days of ‘panjere’ lawless politics of thuggery. The sacked chairmen said Governor Makinde will be making history as the first governor to breach the NFIU guideline with the move.
ALGON Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye while addressing journalists, said any attempt by the Governor to impose the caretaker committees on the councils when the appeal the state government filed is yet to be heard and a perpetual restraining order against dissolution of elected council administration is still subsisting, “will be considered as the final push that will exhaust out patience.
He said, “We will be very ready to defend our mandates popularly given by the people who elected us into the position of responsibility. You do not sit on a chair that is not vacant except court clears the seat for you or you take the seat by force, a recipe for violence and lawlessness.
“We, the elected chairmen and councillors as members of ALGON, Oyo state has been seeking all constitutional and peaceful means to correct this illegal act of Governor Makinde, but it is now very clear that the government has decided, out of its own volition, to be deaf and dumb to all voices of reason and wisdom in its flagrant disobedience of court order and it is in a hurry to push Oyo state into a state of anomie, a lawless state where the rule of men does not rule of law reigns.
“ALGON has resolved at our last meeting that in the event of an invasion of the Council secretariats by the Seyi Makinde Forces of Occupation, we will be more than ready to defend the councils and the sanctity of the people’s mandate freely given to us.
“All elected local government chairmen and councillors are hereby put on notice and at alert anytime the governor makes his final push. Where tradition is lacking, a striking example is very necessary. Action and reaction are equal and opposite.”