By Kemi Olaitan
An end may not be in sight to the crisis between the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Local government of Nigeria (ALGON) and the state government as the association has condemned the suggestion by the state Governor, Seyi Makinde, to pay off its members, describing the idea as antithetical to the war against corruption.
The association in a letter written to the counsel to the state government, Dr. Akin Onigbinde, through its lawyer, Mr. Kunle Sobaloju, and made available to THISDAY yesterday, said the suggestion is a disservice to the people of the local government areas and the state in general, to collect financial compensation in lieu of their constitutionally guaranteed tenure.
It, however, expressed appreciation to the government for recognising and acknowledging their mandate as the democratically elected officials of the 33 local council areas and 35 local development areas respectively by offering to pay them their salaries.
The letter read in part: “We refer to your letter dated February 20, 2020, and have brought the contents of the said letter to the notice of our clients which they have considered; and by this letter, we wish to communicate their response to you.
“We have our clients’ instruction to express their appreciation to His Excellency for recognising and acknowledging our clients’ mandate as the democratically elected chairmen and councilors of the 33 local government councils and 35 LCDAs in Oyo State by offering to pay them their salaries and allowances due.
“However, our clients consider it a disservice to the people of their respective local government areas and the entire people of Oyo State to collect financial compensation as proposed by you in lieu of their constitutionally-guaranteed election tenure.
“Our clients are equally of the view that accepting financial compensation by way of your calculated salary and severance allowance would amount to aiding the breach of the constitution and may also lead to violation of anti-corruption laws by collecting salaries and allowances for futuristic job tenure yet to be lived out.
“We, therefore, have our clients’ instruction to inform you that the financial pay-off proposed is unacceptable to them.
“We appreciate your efforts towards the amicable settlement of issues between the parties, and convey our professional regards of the highest esteem.”