*demands democratic election into 33 LGA, disbandment of 38 LCDA, reconstitution of OYSIEC .
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Socialist Party of Nigeria, (SPN), Oyo State Chapter on Sunday described the extension of tenure for Local Government Caretaker Chairmen in the state by another three months as an extension of illegality.
SPN in a statement signed by its Oyo State Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun rejected the approval by the State House of Assembly of the request by Engr. Seyi Makinde-led government to elongate the tenure of the Caretaker Chairmen that it unilaterally imposed as the heads of administrations of both the constitutionally recognized 33 local government areas, LGA and unlawful 38 local government council development areas, LCDA in the state.
The party frowned at the claim by the Oyo state House of Assembly that the “Caretaker Chairmen performed very well within the limited time and resources available and that there was no petition that warrant their removal”.
“SPN considers the two reasons to be untrue and a mere deceit. There is nothing significant in term of improvement both in the infrastructure and living condition of the people that can be said that the regime of the Caretaker Chairmen have attracted to all the 33 LGA and the so called LCDA across the state”, it said.
The party added, “instead the parlous state of communities that should have been served by functional local councils has gone from bad to worse. Virtually all the intra local government roads in the state continue to be in a deplorable condition while most local council secretariats remain desolate and redundant”.
“Again, the claim that there was no petition that could warrant the removal of caretaker chairmen barely a month after 13 caretaker chairmen were suspended for financial misappropriation by the same Oyo State house of assembly, though later reinstated, is laughable. Even if there was no petition that warrants their removal, the fact that they are not a product of democratic election shows that their existence as the head of the local government administration is an absolute breach and infraction of the necessary provision of the constitution which stipulates among other things that the system of local government must be governed by chairmen and chancellors who must be democratically elected by the people. Therefore their tenure elongation an extension of illegality and impunity.”
SPN added, “in fact the decision by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government to request the tenure elongation for the caretaker chairmen in the first instance exposes the lack of will and zeal by the regime like the discredited late Senator Abiola Ajimobi/APC-led government to conduct the democratic local government election”.
“The plan by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government is to continue to fasten its grip over the funds accrued to local councils which could have been used to carry out some developmental projects including meaningful improvement in both the life of workers and people in the respective local government areas through its appointed caretakers chairmen without any form of accountability to the people. “It is in the light of this, SPN rejects the tenure elongation for the unlawful LGA and LCDA caretaker chairmen and demands a free, fair and democratically-organized election into the 33 Local Councils recognized by constitution with an immediate disbandment of the illegally established 38 LCDA. This will no doubt require the reconstitution of the Oyo State Independent Electoral commission, OYSIEC to comprise the elected representatives of trade unions, credible civil society organizations and political parties.”
The party stressed “however, we also recognize how difficult or impossible for the Seyi makinde-led government like other previous pro-capitalist governments in the state to comply with this kind of proposal. This is because it is a government that was formed through a coalition of pro-capitalist political parties and exists for self-serving interests of a few bourgeois politicians and business associates. Under this kind of situation it is obvious that the political position will definitely be shared among members of political parties that are involved in the so called coalition.”