Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku, has called for an absolute autonomy for 774 local government areas across the country.
Ajanaku, who is also the Asiwaju Odo O’odua, further called for caution on the crises rocking the administration of local government councils in Oyo State.
The APC chieftain, while speaking with journalists in Ibadan yesterday, similarly warned all the parties involved to allow the rule of law to take preeminence, as it’s the only acceptable way to settle dispute without creating further rancour.
According to him, “The political atmosphere in Nigeria is saturated already; it can’t admit any further pressure or unrest. It is on this premise that I, the Asiwaju Odo O’odua, appeal to whoever has intention to foment trouble or act as agents to cause crises in the state to have a rethink.
“Oyo State is our territory and Ibadan is our home, so we can’t afford to fold arms and allow some individuals to destroy our land which everyone in Nigeria testified to be the most peaceful and accommodating state in Nigeria. All the parties involved should wait for the ruling of the competent court and obey every order granted by the Judges. Whoever disobeys the court order will be held responsible and pay for his foolishness in a painful way irrespective of his political affiliation or status.
“No one should think he has monopoly of hooliganism. We shall do all within our capacity to support the security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the offenders and criminals. Once more, I’m appealing to all parties involved or affected by the local government councils’ tussles in Oyo State to tread with caution.”
Ajanaku said: “It’s also important to note that it really doesn’t matters who is affected in the cause of eradicating illegality-whether ruling party or opposition or even the state governor or political warlords-the most important thing is sanitisation of our nascent democracy and reinforcement of our judiciary system for the protection of Nigerian Constitution.
“Let me also add that the system we adopted in the administration of local government councils in Nigeria is responsible for the under-development and retarded growth in the grassroots and by extension, affected the macroeconomics and GDP in Nigeria. This is not peculiar to Oyo State alone; what kind of development are we expecting in a situation where governors had already pocketed the activities and management of local government councils?”
Ajanaku, while expressing displeasure with the unrepentant attitude of some state governors, queried why the governors area adamant and unwilling to allow local government areas in their states to enjoy absolute autonomy.
He noted that the main reason the governors are adamant on the issue is because of corruption, and “they do not have human feelings and consideration for the masses.
“It’s important now for the national legislators to consider the review of the law that established local government councils in Nigeria as important service to the citizens of this great country. It’s only when this is done that those at the grassroots can enjoy the dividend of democracy.
“The bulk of this great assignment is rested on the National Assembly. So it behooves on them to allow masses interest override individual selfish interest. They should consider it as a good legacy to leave behind after their term, and posterity will continue to speak on their behalf even after death.”