New executive of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Oyo State are expected to emerge on Thursday but members of the union are currently split over pressures on some contestants for the presidency to step down.
Some members have accused the state governor, Seyi Makinde, of meddling and trying to impose a candidate on them ahead of the ele tion holding in Saki on Thursday.
But according to members of the Conference of Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs), Makinde’s action is not an interference but an intervention.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the group admitted that two of the presidential candidates were spoiled for war, but stressed that “without mincing words, no responsible government will fold its hand and allow the peace, harmony and security of its state to be truncated.”
“It must be on record that the Conference of HLGAs, and by extension the Local Government Service are fully in support of government actions and decisions towards ensuring that the reigning peace in the state is not truncated,” it added.
The group disclosed that “on Tuesday, at the instance of the Chairman, Oyo State Local Government Service Commission, Hon. Remi Ayodele, a decision was reached to the effect that two of the three Presidential Contestants should step down for one candidate, to avoid the impending crisis likely to arise sequel to the hard stance of two of the three contestants.”
It continued: “In the first instance, we are members of NULGE because we are staffers of Oyo State Local Government Service. Ipso facto, there cannot be NULGE without the staffers. We shall therefore not close our eyes with arms akimbo, while an individual or a group, because of their selfish interest destroy the service toiled for by all of us over the years.
“We are therefore calling on the warring factions to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign, knowing full well that it is always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. They should not foreclose the possibility of the role of arbitrators in finding lasting solutions to the lingering crisis.
“Finally, we want to use this medium to appreciate the State Government in all its efforts towards ensuring that the Local Government Service is on a better pedestal. We therefore pledge our unalloyed loyalty to and fully identify with Engr. Seyi Makinde-led administration, in its quest towards making Oyo State a better place for all.
The three contenders for the presidency are Hakeem Ojo Damilare, Bogunbe Abass Adekunle and Mrs Romoke Opabunmi.
Damilare is head of local government administration, HLGA of Irepo local government; Bogunbe is director of finance at Iseyin while Opabunmi is acting HLGA at Aare Latoosa Local Council Development Area.
A source alleged that at the Tuesday meeting presided over by Ayodele, Bogunbe and Damilare were asked to step down for Opabunmi, with further allegations that Bogunbe and Damilare were regarded as APC members.