Oyo State Governor, Mr. ‘Seyi Makinde, has disclosed that he would not obey a Supreme Court ruling on the local government administration as he was fined a sum of N20 million for sacking 68 council chairpersons, who were elected in 2018.
According to the governor, contrary to the constitutionally recognised 33 local governments, there are additional 35 local council development areas, making it 68, a number he clearly can’t work with. The governor spoke to THISDAY at the Government House, Ibadan, where he made his submission.
In his words: “The Constitution of Nigeria recognises 33 local government areas and 351 wards in Oyo State. The previous administration created local development areas and increased the number to 68. We couldn’t work with that, so, we scrapped it and put in place caretaker committees before proper elections were held in the 33 constitutionally recognised local government areas.”
“What the Supreme Court invariably said is that it is its policy that governors should not dissolve local government administrations. They expected me to approach the court to argue the unconstitutionality of the 35 LCDAs.
“If I had gone to court, it would have taken this length of time for them to reach a decision by which time they would have served out their tenure. They have to go back to court to determine, who among them should be paid. And I doubt if that matter can be decided during my tenure. I may be out of here by that time,”
“I deliberately appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as Chairman of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, because I know he will be independent-minded. I have not even spoken to him after the election. I did not know him before the appointment. People told me it was the first time they are taking part in local government election. Even my own people told me it is not done that way. They wanted us to write figures and announce results. I refused to do that,” he added.