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We want LGs as centres of development – Makinde

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Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde on Monday declared  that the newly inaugurated caretaker chairmen must contribute meaningfully to the development of the state, stressing  that the councils must be centres of development.

Governor Makinde made the declaration while inaugurating the 68 caretaker chairmen to oversee the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas of the State in the state held inside the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Agodi, Ibadan

He asked them to serve as the eyes, ears and mouths of the Government in its effort to deliver good governance.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as saying that the inauguration of the local government chairmen was taking place in order to avoid a vacuum in governance at the grassroots.

According to him, the intention of his administration is to ensure that the people of Oyo State continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.

Makinde stated that his government is a people-centred government that will continue to put the interests of the people of Oyo State first.

He also said that his decision to inaugurate the councils was to ensure that the closest level of government to the people is fully functional such that the councils could make meaningful impacts on their lives.

He said: “What we are doing here today, inaugurating the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas Caretaker Chairpersons, is to ensure that a vacuum is not created in governance, and that our people continue to enjoy the dividends that accrue from electing a legitimate government.

“I have often said that this administration is people-centered and will continue to put the interests of the people first. You will agree with me that the closer government is to the people, the more impactful and meaningful the activities of government will be to them.

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“Therefore, this inauguration is an integral and essential part of the good governance that we promised the people of Oyo State.

“Permit me to use this occasion to share a few reminders with the Caretaker-Chairmen-designates. You are indeed occupying unique positions as a link between the State Government and the People.

“Ideally, you are the first point of call that should address the governance issues of the people before escalating same to higher authorities.

“Therefore, if we are to compare Oyo State to an enterprise with many branches, you are the Branch Supervisors taking responsibility of the affairs of the company at a local level.”

Makinde, who noted that the new caretaker chairmen would be the eyes, ears and mouths of the Government in engendering development and bringing good governance to the people at the grassroots, urged the chairmen to carry out key functions in driving the policy actions of the government in the areas of security, health, education and economic expansion to ensure accelerated development for Oyo State.

“In some circles, you will be said to be the eyes and ears of government. But when we say eyes and ears, we overlook another important function. If God had created humans with only eyes and ears, then it would mean that he only wants us to see and listen. But in all His wisdom, he did not leave off giving us a mouth.

“Therefore, in this instance, you will not only be our eyes and ears, but you will also be our mouth. You will see, you will listen and you will speak.

“What are some aspects of governance that you will be carrying out these oversight functions? Well, they are indeed many and varied. But I will talk about a few very important ones, given the needs of Oyo State at this time. Please bear in mind the four main pillars of our Roadmap to Accelerated Development in Oyo State, namely Education, Healthcare, Security, and the Economy through trade and agribusiness.

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“As an administration, we are very interested in the education of our children. The Commissioner of Education can confirm we have started distributing the compendium of past questions to the SSS 3 students in all secondary schools in Oyo State. Our goal in education is to ensure no child is out-of-school.

“I would be happy to see your plans to make sure that children get off the streets and into the classrooms. I know you will have more opportunities to liaise with the parents in a bid to implement our free education policies.

“You will also be in a better position to report any issues that may be working against this policy. In this, we need you to be our eyes, ears, and mouth. So, see what is going on, listen to the complaints and challenges the parents have and talk to them about our plans.

“Another key aspect I want to mention is with markets and small businesses. We are very interested in the growth of our economy through agriculture and trade. The economy of Oyo State cannot grow if small businesses do not thrive and this will mean our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) cannot grow either. One of the points we raised during our campaign is how multiple taxation is killing businesses. We want to remove all the roadblocks to business growth.

“Therefore, we will be expecting you to work with local businesses and the State Internal Revenue Board to make sure that people are happy doing business in Oyo State at the local level. Let us know what the challenges are so that we can work together to resolve them.

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“I will not end this short speech without raising the issue of refuse disposal. One of the major functions of the Local Government Authority is to be responsible for waste removal. I expect that you will go around the areas to which you are assigned and see things for yourself, and hear the challenges our people are having with solid waste disposal.

“As I stated during my last media chat, by the first quarter of 2020, the challenges with refuse disposal will be a thing of the past and we will have a seamless system in place. So, I am putting you to task to work with the Commissioner for the Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Kehinde Ayoola and the Oyo State Waste Management Authority (OYOWMA) to provide the necessary input to make this plan a reality. Data is key. So, let us have the data as we plan for costing and implementation.

“Once again, I welcome all 68 of you Caretaker Chairpersons. I enjoin you to contribute your meaningful quota to ensuring that we move Oyo State forward.”

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Politics

LG crisis: We will prosecute those who vandalized LGs properties – Oyo govt

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The government of Oyo State declared on Monday that it will bring the full weight of the law to bear on the alleged criminal and violent takeover of some Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas’ secretariats by the dissolved illegal chairmen loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The state government said reports from different parts of Oyo State confirmed on Monday that the sacked chairmen resorted to break-ins and vandalization of government properties, leading some imposters to seize offices of council Chairmen.

The State Government, in a statement by Honourable Babatunde Oduyoye, the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters to Governor Seyi Makinde, maintained that the action of the sacked chairmen amounted to criminality and unwarranted provocation.

It condemned what it called unwarranted lawlessness and motor-park-like brigandage perpetrated by the sacked chairmen on Monday.
According to the State Government, the imposters broke into council offices, vandalising gates, doors, windows and other properties at the respective local council secretariats.
The government, however, appealed to the teeming people of the State to remain calm, law-abiding and patient, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on the matter slated for 19 February 2020.

It promised that “a drastic measure “will be taken on the reports of destruction and violence which characterised the actions of the sacked chairmen on Monday.

Hon Oduyoye said: “We have received reports of vandalisation of government property. We have received reports of wanton destruction of doors, windows, and others, and I can tell you that the governor will not sit down and watch while some people decide to be lawless. This is criminal and the government will pursue it to a logical conclusion.

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“So, pending the determination of the cases at the Court of Appeal, I think it is only appropriate for these chairmen to be law-abiding because we had said earlier that it is sub judice and we cannot do anything until these cases are determined in the court.

“For the records, the state government, in a statement yesterday, did say that we are going to ensure we do not allow a breakdown of law and order. As we speak, there are two cases in the Court of Appeal and the cases are coming up on February 19th. I do not know why the Attorney-General of the Federation wrote such a letter that is now being used as excuse by some to act recklessly. We will recall that he did a similar thing on the issue of Amotekun.”

The Special Adviser added that as a law-abiding and peace-loving Government, the 68 caretaker chairmen appointed by Governor Makinde were directed to stay away from the secretariats in order to forestall an outbreak of violence, noting, however, that the chairmen have been charged with keeping peace and order in their respective local councils.

He added: “We in Oyo State are law-abiding citizens. The government directed the chairmen to maintain peace. We have just finished a meeting now and workers in the state under the umbrella of NULGE are on strike, and you now begin to ask why the sacked APC council chairmen went to the local government councils.

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“The issue is, there is industrial action by NULGE. I think they are justified by the level of reports we have received of people macheting PDP members they found around the local government councils’ premises, destroying government properties, forcing doors open and all that. NULGE was right to have taken such a decision. We do not begrudge them for doing that but we have told our people to be law-abiding. We have told the chairmen too to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order within the local government areas.”

Speaking on the situation that led to the current imbroglio, Oduyoye maintained that the Court should be allowed to take its decision on who is right or wrong on the matter on ground, insisting, however, that the government, under the leadership of Governor Makinde, would not sit down and watch some desperate elements destroy the state and create fear in the minds of the people.

“Whether one is right or the other is wrong, it is not for me to decide. The court will decide. This is a very simple matter. An election was held when there was an injunction. Second, elections took place in LCDAs not recognised by the Constitution. These are matters before the court.

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“As I said, the court will decide if you can conduct elections in areas not recognized by the constitution and, if you can go ahead to conduct an election when there was a pending injunction, these are matters for the Court of Appeal to decide upon.

Pending that time, we have appealed to the good people of Oyo State to be calm, law-abiding and we will ensure we do something about the report sent to us on those who have destroyed government property,” Oduyoye said.

 

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Oyo ALGON to Makinde: Accept Our Sympathy, Your Excellency

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The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter has sympathised with the state governor,  Engr. Seyi Makinde, for what it described as the unnecessary stress and avoidable tension the governor and his government have imposed on themselves because of the illegal dissolution of democratically elected local government.

Oyo ALGON further described it as an arbitrary decision which was imposed on the governor  by the few power hustlers who took advantage of his inexperience on governance issues.

The Association in a press statement signed by its Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass Aleshinloye in Ibadan on Monday and made available to Mega Icon Magazine said, “Since he didn’t reject the dangerous decision when he wanted to, then he should blame no one but himself for the stress he is going through particularly within the past 72 hours when the reality of our resumption to duty is dawning on the government”.

Reacting to a press  statement issued and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, Prince Aleshinloye said the statement is full of furry and panic signifying nothing beyond “his usual lies, blackmail to confuse the peace loving people of Oyo State”.

Aleshinloye in the statement added, “despite our assurance of peace and adequate police protection to all peace loving citizens in our public statement as we resume our legitimate duty, the CPS to the governor has revealed the government’s plan to foment trouble and return the state to the theatre of political violence and thuggery.

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“When a government that has disobeyed court orders and ignored timely advice by police, whose primary duty is law enforcement and peace keeping, promised to unleash “full wrath of law” on lawful people, then the public should suspect and understand that the government is planning to use thugs not the police or any other security agency to impose its “full wrath of law” as it promised.

“Anyway, the police and other law enforcement agencies have assured ALGON and the general public that trouble makers will not be allowed to perpetuate their violent acts.

“Justice is the first condition of peace, a government that does not respect courts including Supreme Court judgment cannot be trusted to guarantee peace but to unleash violence.

“Once again, we assure all citizens including local government workers of a trouble free resumption, the police as directed by the IGP are fully on ground to enforce law and the Supreme Court judgement. No matter how high anyone is, the Law is above all. Peace be! No cause for Alarm”, the statement concluded

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Oyo LG crisis: We won’t allow breakdown of law and order – Govt.

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The Oyo State Government has declared that it would not allow any group of persons to throw the state into crisis as a result of the ongoing debate on the management of local governments in the state.

The state government on Sunday also insisted in a statement that it was insisting on the full observance of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in relation to the ongoing controversy surrounding the dissolution of the 68 sacked local council chairmen in the State.

The government further warned some individuals who have been  threatening to derail the peace of the State to desist from such ruinous path or face the full wrath of the law.

The Government, in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, informed that the Government’s position became imperative following the threats of violence by the sacked illegal chairmen and the stay-at-home order issued to all local government workers in the State by the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

The statement added that though Government would not begrudge the NULGE for directing its members to stay away from work in response to persistent threats emanating from the sacked chairmen of local councils and LCDA, it urged all workers in the state to reject any act of brigandage by persons or groups seeking to derail the peace and progressive governance in the State.

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“The attention of the Government of Oyo State has been drawn to a sit-at-home order announced by the State Chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

“The Government understands that the sit-at-home order was a response to persistent threats emanating from the sacked chairmen of local councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

“Whereas the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde will not begrudge NULGE for seeking to preserve its members from a perceived Armageddon as promised by the sacked council chairmen, the Government would like to put it on record that it will continue to stand by the dictates of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

“As earlier stated in a position by the State’s Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, issues concerning the tussle over local government administration in Oyo State are before the Court of Appeal and that the two cases are scheduled for hearing on February 19, 2020.

“Any lover of peace, progress and democracy would have no problems waiting to hear from the Court on the day stated.

“We, however, urge all workers in the state to reject any act of brigandage by any persons or groups who are merely seeking to derail the peace and progressive governance that have been the lot of the State since May 29, 2019.

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“We call on the workers and the teeming people of Oyo State to please ignore the threat of violence and brigandage from the sacked chairmen and rest assured that the train of unmatched groundbreaking good governance in Oyo State started by His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, cannot be stopped”, the statement reads.

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