The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Oyo State has condemned the dissolution of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) by the state government.
ALGON in a statement signed by its Chairman, Prince Abass Aleshinloye, said the dissolution was illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary as the commission has a statutory five-year tenure, which ends in 2021.
According to Aleshinloye, the action of Governor Seyi Makinde “is yet another faulty and illegal step in the series of lawlessness and executive rascality the government of Oyo State is now known for.”
He described the governor’s statement that all the entitlement due to the members of the dissolved commission would be paid in order to absolve the state of any liability as, “laughable and humiliating of the commission’s members.
“We have become an endangered state with Governor Seyi Makinde’s unending assault on all that is legal and constitutional. We woke up to the announcement of the illegal and reckless act of dissolution of the statutory commissions in Oyo State this week by the governor. In his ill-conceived attempt to avoid the self-inflicted liability occasioned by his lawless act, he made a promise of ‘Naira rain’ to members of the illegally dissolved commissions as a ‘compensation’ to members of the bodies. Not only is this laughable, humiliating of the distinguished members of these commissions who he has presented as if they are hungry for gain rather than to serve, it is also embarrassing and smacks of poor administrative judgment and disregard for all that is hallowed in any sane clime”.
The ALGON chairman advised the governor against the planned monetisation as, “illegalities cannot be monetised and commercialised”, adding that monetisation of lawlessness does not cure its illegality.
He described the action as corruption in its basest form, “morally reprehensible, unconstitutional and cannot stand the test of law.
He wondered where the governor would source the money from and described the action as a further “plunder of our commonwealth” in a state he has described as bankrupt.”
“ Are taxpayers in Oyo state now to bear the brunt of this recklessness? If you pay the commission members their five years wages at once for only two years spent and proceed to appoint new people to the same commissions, what it amounts to is another burden on the citizenry as they will now pay wages and emoluments to two different sets of people within the same term”.
Aleshinloye queried the Governor’s managerial skill as he would be incapable of demanding prudence and probity from workers if he was also laying bad examples.
“If a worker is found collecting two or more person’s salary now, is it different from what Mr Governor is authorising and doing now? We have had an administration reputed and branded as the, “builder of modern Oyo state” , but it seems Governor Makinde is gaining notoriety as the “initiator of a lawless Oyo state “. It is our prayer that our people will not follow this example . When President Buhari assumed office in 2015, he worked with the INEC, FJSC, NJC, CBN and other commissions duly constituted till their tenures expired. We thought this introduced a new spirit into governance in Nigeria, but clearly our governor still lives in the unfortunate past.
Aleshinloye called on ALGON members, secretaries, councillors and supervisors to ignore the directive to a committee set up earlier to probe the accounts of elected local government administration by the governor. He described the committee as another illegality that is unknown to the Nigerian constitution and an affront on subsisting court judgement.
“By law, a governor cannot probe local government chairmen, just like the president cannot probe a state governor by an adhoc committee. It is only a Governor of illegalities that seeks to dare the hallowed letters of our constitution he swore to uphold. No state Governor in Nigeria has followed this ill-conceived lawless example. Accounts of local government councils are regularly audited by the auditors from the Auditor General’s office and its activities are also regularly monitored accordingly.
“ We therefore join the good people of Oyo State to demand a reversal of such poor and reckless executive decision.”