The Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Osun State University, Prof. Bolaji Omitola, has called for punitive measures against governors preventing conduct of local government elections in their states.
Omitola, a Professor of Political Science, gave his opinion in Ibadan during a get-together to celebrate his recent elevation to the peak of the academic career.
He described holding regular and periodic elections in the third tier of government as the people’s constitutional right which must not be violated for any reason.
Feigning different excuses, governors, particularly in the Southwestern states of Nigeria, have prevented elections from holding at local government areas within their jurisdiction.
The don noted that the development portends a dangerous omen for the Nigerian state, stressing the need to fashion out ways of making it impossible for any governor to trample on the people’s right to elect leaders of their choice into offices at the local government level.
Omitola said the Nigerian system should make every effort to compel deviant governors to respect and fulfil this aspect of the law, saying it is an aberration that one tier of government (State) will be denying the other (Local Government) its right under the same presidential setting.
He added that conduct of local government elections is a constitutional matter which must be obeyed by all stakeholders and that failure to do so amounts to illegality, which, according to him, is condemnable.
“The trend is creating a major set-back to the development of the grassroots politics in the country.
“I am of the firm belief that the Federal government should put up a kind of punitive measure for the states that fail to conduct local government elections. For example, Federal government can withhold the allocations for the local governments within the particular state. ”
Also speaking on the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Omotide expressed optimism that the contentious issues would soon be resolved between the university lecturers and the federal government as both parties are already engaging each other in meaningful dialogue to ensure quick end to the lingering crisis.