A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku has explained the rationale behind the opposition of local government autonomy by some state governors.
Ajanaku, who addressed journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Monday insisted that the main reason was corruption.
He added that some governors were against the autonomy of local government in the country because some of them have no human feelings and no consideration for the masses.
“Why are the governors adamant and unwilling to allow local government in their states to enjoy absolute and sincere autonomy?
“The main reason they are stubborn on the issue is corruption and no human feelings, no consideration for the masses”, he said.
While reacting to the lingering crises rocking the local government in the state, Ajanaku called for caution, as he warned parties involved to allow the rule of law to take preeminence.
“The political atmosphere in Nigeria is saturated already, it can’t admit any further pressure or unrest. It is on this premise that I, the Asiwaju Odo O’odua appeal to whoever has intention to foment trouble, or act as agent to cause crises in the state to have a rethink.
“Oyo State is our territory and Ibadan is our home, we can’t afford to fold arms and allow some individuals to destroy our land which everyone in Nigeria testified to as the most peaceful and accommodating state in Nigeria. All the parties involved should wait for the ruling of the competent court and obey every order granted by the Judges. Whoever disobey court order will be held responsible and pay for his foolishness in a painful way irrespective of his political affiliation or status.
“No one should think he has monopoly of hooliganism/thuggery, we shall do all within our capacity to support the security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the offenders and criminals. Once more, I’m appealing to all parties involved or affected by the local government councils’ tussles in Oyo State to tread with caution.
“It’s also important to note that it really matters not who is affected in the cause of eradicating illegality, whether ruling party or opposition or even the state governor or political warlords, the most important thing is sanitisation of our nascent democracy and reinforcement of our judiciary system for the protection of Nigerian Constitution,” he added.
“Let me also add this, that the system we adopted in the administration of local government councils in Nigeria responsible for underdevelopment and retarded growth in the grassroots and by extension affected the macroeconomics and GDP in Nigeria. This is not peculiar to Oyo State alone, what kind of development are we expecting in a situation where governors had already pocketed the activities and management of local government councils.
“It’s important now for the national legislators to consider the review of the law that established local government councils in Nigeria as important service to the citizens of this great country. It’s only when this is done that people at the grassroots can enjoy the dividend of democracy. The bulk of this great assignment rested on the national assembly. So it behoves of them to allow masses interest to override individual selfish interest. They should consider it as a good legacy to leave behind after their tenor. And posterity will continue to speak on their behalf even after death. Same thing Yar’Adua did and till today people are celebrating him, even though he’s no more.
“The review should include a bill on restructuring of election process. The election of candidates for the local government councils’ chairmen and counselors should be allowed to come up same day, same time with that of the state governors and state legislators. Local government elections should also be conducted by the INEC, and to get this done the tenure of the elected local government executives must be adjusted to four years.
“For the stability of this political dispensation, power must return to the people, this would encourage good governance, accountability, transparency and also reduce poverty in Nigeria. Once that is done every elected person would strive to leave behind a good legacy, as their faith will be in the hands of the electorates and imposition of candidates will go into oblivion,” he said.
Ajanaku while speaking further, advised youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used by politicians, whose children are in overseas.