Saturday, January 16, 2021

By Oyo Integrity Frontier

Recently, the governor of Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde, while reacting to the call by the chairman of Oyo ALGON, Mr Abass Alesinloye, to the state government to respect the Supreme Court decisions preventing state governors from sacking democratically elected local government chairmen and constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments, said that the local government election organized by the past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi was a ‘kangaroo’ election. Governor Seyi Makinde stated this while speaking with Tribune Online through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, who held that no court order was violated in appointing caretaker chairmen as there was no such order restraining the state government from running the local government system. Governor Makinde explained that he took the actions of dissolving the elected local government chairmen and appointing caretaker chairmen to ‘right’ the ‘wrongs’ of the immediate past administration on the ‘kangaroo’ election that produced the sacked local government chairmen.

According to Governor Seyi Makinde, the Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration was wrong by violating a court order to conduct the ‘kangaroo’ local government election, thereby rendering the constitution of ALGON Oyo null and void.

However, facts available in the public domain about the local government election held on May 12th, 2018 by the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi point to the fact that Governor Seyi Makinde was being economical with the truth of the situations. It is essential to clear the air, firstly, that there was no court injunction restraining OYSIEC from conducting election into all local governments and LCDAs around May, 2018. *The only court case concerning the local government election was instituted at the Federal High Court, Ibadan Judicial Division, by some aggrieved APC members (not even from the PDP or its agents) from Ibarapa East, Eruwa to be precise, over delineation, delimitation, adjustment and creation of electoral wards, polling booths, villages, territories and ward allocations done by the OYSIEC.* On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018, Justice Joyce Jumoke of the Federal High Court 2, granted an interlocutory injunction, restraining the OYSIEC from conducting election into NEW WARDS created by the commission in IBARAPA EAST (note the capitalised emphases) not in all the 33 local governments, not even in the LCDAs, in Oyo state!

Going forward, on the 10th of May, 2018, the same Honourable Justice J.O. AbdulMalik gave a ruling on the case instituted by the aggrieved APC members on land and territorial boundary dispute, striking out the case on the strength that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case and that the plaintiffs also lacked the locus standi to institute the suit as was constituted before the court.

Despite that the ruling of the Federal High Court which struck out the case and gave the local government election the strength to proceed was public knowledge, it is unfortunately irresponsible that Governor Seyi Makinde, who was supposed to be a custodian of public integrity, lied with impunity that the conduct of the local government election by the past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi was in violation of court ruling when the available facts stated otherwise. It should bother well-meaning citizens of Oyo state that the state governor was misleading the unsuspecting public by feeding them lies from the pit of hell! So far, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde has shown itself to be a perpetual twister of facts and figures to pull wool over the eyes of the masses in order to gain cheap popularity with them while giving the past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi a bad name in order to hang it.

He who intends to lie will say that his witness isn’t within reach. The incontrovertible facts of the local government election imbroglios are in public domain and it will do our dear state a whole lot of good for people to check the available facts to know the true situations of the local government matters. It is important, therefore, to reiterate that Governor Seyi Makinde administration violates the proclamation of the Supreme Court to the effect that it’s unlawful to sack democratically elected chairmen and to institute caretaking administration in the local governments.

*Oyo Integrity Frontier*

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