Stop trying to destabilise Oyo, Makinde tells ex-LG chairmen
.Says state’ll be in better economic situation soon
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has told the chairmen of Local Governments and Local Council Development Authorities sacked during his first term of office to desist from trying to destabilise the state.
The governor maintained that the sacked chairmen had been using all underhand methods to distract his government and hurt the people of the state, noting, however, that they will not succeed.
According to the governor, the ex-LG chairmen had been forum shopping for all kinds of court processes, but he had kept his focus, adding that the government would now go after the embattled chairmen lawfully with a view to ensuring that they account for their deeds.
Governor Makinde stated this on Saturday during an end-of-the-year Media Chat hosted by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and aired by 16 radio stations across the state.
This was as the governor maintained that his government would turn the economic situation in the state around shortly, noting that though there had been a major impact in the country due to economic challenges, the state would be in a far better situation in a few months.
The governor, who signed the N438.4 Billion 2024 Budget of Economic Recovery into law o Friday, insisted that his administration had been been taking well-detailed and thought-out decisions to secure the future of the state while also taking care of the moment, which is the whole idea of sustainable development.
The governor, during the chat, said parts of the well-thought-out decisions was the Sustainable Action for Economic Recovery (SAfER) initiative introduced by the state in the wake of the removal of fuel subsidy.
“In Oyo State, we introduced SAfER. Yes, the food element is there but we also have the transportation element, which allows us to help people move around. And we did not concentrate on Ibadan alone.
“We have the health package to give room for assessment of medical care and wage awards for civil servants and pensioners. Those are the things we believe will germinate over time,” the governor said.
While responding to a question on a recent garnishee order on state government accounts obtained by the sacked chairmen, Governor Makinde said they were on a frolic of legal rascality.
He declared that his government would not bow to pressure to pay the state’s money into wrong hands until all legal means are exhausted.
Insisting that his government was justified to sack the ex-LG chairmen because their election was premised on unconstitutionality, the governor said: “I was not wrongly advised and if I have to take the decision all over again, I will do exactly the same thing. Before we came in, the previous administration had elections into the constitutionally recognised 33 local government areas as well as the LCDAs. So, that was the basis for our decision.
“I could have worked with anybody but, because they did something that was not in line with the constitution, we decided that they had to go.
“That was not the first time. It may look like I took that decision in line with things that happened in the past. No, I took the decision solely because I felt we cannot build a foundation on unconstitutionality.
“In 2007, Governors Alao-Akala and Ladoja were in the same party and were fighting within the party. As soon as the late Alao-Akala got in there, he dissolved the LG chairmen and put his people. In 2011, the same thing happened when Governor Abiola Ajimobi got there. He dissolved them.
“Those people that were dissolved in 2007 and 2011, this administration is still paying their entitlements. When it got to 2019, they went to court and the case was dismissed and they were forum shopping, going to different courts until they got to FCT High Court.
“I was going to go after them and somebody in my own legal team came and said it was an abuse of court process. FCT High Court is in its own jurisdiction as the Oyo State High Court that dismissed this case in the first instance. On that singular act, I was distracted and I don’t easily get distracted.
“But I have news for them; they will not get a dime till the Supreme Court asks us to pay. I will not pay to the wrong people.
“I still held a meeting yesterday with the team. It is nothing to worry about. This is a government that is based on the constitution.”
The governor also used the opportunity of the chat to clear the air on the delay in the appointment of a new Alaafin of Oyo, noting that as an administration that has vowed to always ensure that the right thing is done, he has told all the appropriate quarters on the chieftaincy issue to follow the rules and do what is right.
Also responding to a question on the conversion of Agodi Forest to a Housing Estate, Governor Makinde said those agitating against the move were ill-advised, noting that the decision will benefit the state economically and in the area of security.
He said, “You want to talk of global warming; you want to talk of deforestation. Yes, it is fine. But I learnt there is some money for environmental activists at the United Nations, well if it is because of the money that they are agitating, I urge them to calm down and let us look at the numbers.
“What is the place of .425 square kilometres, which is the size of the forest, in the grand scheme of 28,000 square kilometres, which is the land size of the entire state? If they are saying we should not cut down any tree, how do we balance development?
“They are saying we should not cut down any tree; do they know how many trees this administration has planted? On the first section of the Circular Road that we are constructing, the first phase of 32 kilometres towards Badeku Village, we have asked that trees be planted to demarcate that place.
“Anyone agitating may have their points, but they should not pollute the environment and make the government’s decision look so bad because they are looking for personal gains.”
The governor, who also addressed the issue of who will succeed him when his second tenure lapses in 2027, warned that human beings must be wary not to play god by deciding on things out of their reach.
He, however, noted that he had been building people in leadership positions and that when the time comes, he could advise based on facts available to him and it would be left to the people of the state to decide.
The governor also said that one thing he was quite certain of was that his administration would leave behind strong institutions, including the ones he set up such as the Oyo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun, Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA), Oyo State Mobilisation Agency for Social Education Development, (OMASED), the Rule of Law Enforcement Authority, which were set up to bring order into the state.
He added that a proper orientation would be given to the people of the state before the implementation and enforcement of the rule of law in 2024.
The governor appreciated the people for standing by his administration, just as he pleaded with them for more support as “the government continues to execute and implement policies that will be in the best interest of the people.”
The media chat had in attendance who-is-who in the state, including top government functionaries as well as national and state PDP leaders, among others.