The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State has commended the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, over his intervention on the controversies surrounding the sack of elected local government councils in the state and their purported replacement with appointed caretaker committees by Governor Seyi Makinde.
Malami, in an official memorandum issued from his office in Abuja on January 14, had notified the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of Oyo State to guide Governor Makinde on the need to do away with caretaker committees and restore elected council members who he sacked on May 29.
The minister urged the state to comply with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution and obey the Supreme Court judgment which held that governors and state assemblies have no power to sack elected local government councils.
In a statement issued in Ibadan by the APC Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, the party regretted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in the state was bent on bringing the third tier of government down on its kneels for no just reasons than dirty politicking.
The statement read: “It is unfortunate that the Pacesetter State had to be in the news again for the wrong reasons despite spirited efforts from various stakeholders who pleaded with the governor to toe the line of rationality and constitution by allowing council officials, who had been in office a year before him, serve out their three year term. But he preferred governance at the grassroots level to be grounded to a halt than work with members of other political parties apart from his own PDP.
“With this latest development, we have been made to know that Nigeria is still blessed with competent, dutiful and courageous individuals who are ready to act right in any situation. The Minister of Justice has just demonstrated the zeal to safeguard constitutional democracy and the sanctity of the Court since the nation’s Supreme Court had also given a verdict that no state governor or State House of Assembly has the power to sack elected council officials before the expiration of their tenure.
“It is only a politically naive person that would misinterpret the intervention of the nation’s Chief Law Officer or encourage Gov. Makinde to waste any time further to comply and allow peace to reign in the state. There should not be a question of party affiliation where good governance is prioritized and it is on this note we are calling on the concerned council officials to cooperate with the governor.
“On our part as a progressive party, we want the elected council officials to hit the ground running again. We are not oblivious of the fact that the grassroots has suffered tremendously in the last eight months and it is now imperative for the reinstated officials to do the needful in their respective local government areas or local council development areas as soon as they return to office any moment from now.
“Now that the Presidency has performed to expectations by putting relevant stakeholders on notice, it is important for the PDP government of Engr. Makinde to join hands with all security agencies to ensure peaceful take over of general administration of all the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs across the state while they are put on their toes to deliver good governance as desired by all and sundry.
“As a matter of fact, we are already warming up for another local government election in the second quarter of next year (2021) and we are urging other registered political parties in the state, particularly the PDP, to prepare well for the same exercise which is expected to prepare the mind of the citizenry for the 2023 general elections.”