Oyo: Dawn of new chapter in local government administration?

BAYO AGBOOLA from Ibadan writes that depending on the side of the divide the Oyo state political stakeholders belong, the last local government election was either free fair and credible or marred by irregularities and there seems to be no ending to the argument  

Makinde’s commission and endorsement 

Contrary to the notion in certain quarters that Governor Seyi Makinde seemed not to be comfortable with local government as a separate tier of government, the governor on Friday, May 24, tactically proved those with such notion wrong.

Governor Makinde announced that at the inauguration of the newly elected 33 LG Chairmen and Vice Chairmen in Oyo state at a colourful ceremony held at the Executive Chamber, of Governor’s office, Agodi in Ibadan. 

Makinde, at the inauguration, did not mince words in saying that the “local government administration cannot be undermined because of its constitutional obligation as a catalyst for sustainable development at the grass root”.

The governor, through his Deputy, Barrister Adebayo Lawal, hence, underscored the need for the new chairmen to, among other things, ensure they joined hands with his administration in its determination to present an all inclusive agenda based on his vision to move the state to greater heights through good governance for the development of the people; adequate democratic practice and total engagement with stakeholders with a view to delivering the dividends of democracy to the teeming population in the “Pacesetter’s State”.

APC’s skepticism & initial plan to stop PDP

Recall that the major opposition political party in Oyo state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), during the inauguration ceremony of a high-powered team of party faithful as technical committee members saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the desired victory to all its candidates in the April 27 alluded to the alleged disposition of Governor Makinde towards local government administration in the state.

The Oyo state APC Chairman 

Barrister Isaac Omodewu, represented by the state secretary of the party, Alhaji Tajudeen Olanite), stressed: “Most people in Oyo state have come to realize that APC is a veritable tool to rescue the third tier of government from the shackles of Governor Seyi Makinde who has not missed every opportunity to show to the world that he does not want the local government councils to function as enshrined in the nation’s constitution. The governor has allegedly literally strangulated the 33 LGAs and now is the time for us to come in and save the situation”.

“The State Executive Committee of our great party under my leadership is of the staunch belief that if we are able put our house in order and reach out to the good people of the state, particularly, the voting public, the plan by the ruling PDP to write results and forcefully declare their candidates as winners would not see the light of the day. We believe you can do it and we are ready to encourage you to deliver the good against all odds.

Makinde’s staunch belief in LG polls

However, Governor Makinde at the inauguration of the 33 newly elected Chairmen said: “as a responsive and purpose driven administration, we were committed to hold election into the various Councils as and when due and that the good people of Oyo state deemed it fit to elect credible people as their representatives in the just concluded local government elections conducted by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), stressing that the election was adjudged to be credible and fair in all ramifications.

“I want to extend my warm felicitations to all the newly elected Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen whose election is a clear indication of your acceptability at the grassroots in view of your past dedication, integrity and tenacity at ensuring development at the various Local Government Areas. As a government, we are very clear in our dream for better Oyo state. 

“Similarly, you must all brace up to replicate same at the grassroots level by embracing people-sensitive and developmental programmes aimed at bringing democratic dividends to our people. It is my hope that you will continue to consolidate on past achievements.

“It is evident that the task before this august gathering is beyond mere rhetorics as your coming on board must bring the desired and envisioned development to the grassroots in our dear state. As you start this new chapter, you are enjoined to collaborate and work diligently towards building lasting legacies with a view to making life better for the good people of the state.

“The grassroots communities are the heartbeat of our state. Let us prioritize their needs and aspirations in our governance strategies. Always keep in mind the trust reposed in all of you. May your tenure be marked by transformative initiatives, impactful projects and an unwavering dedication to the service of our state and its people”.

The governor emphasised: “For the umpteenth time and for the purpose of emphasis, principle of democratic tenets must be upheld at the grassroots level, especially, in the administration of your various Local Government. There must be no room for excuses. You must bear in mind at all times that upholding Rule of Law is key to Democracy and Civil Administration”.

He added, “On this note, I now pronounce the thirty-three Local Government Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen inaugurated to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo state”. 

It’s dawn of new chapter 

Oyo state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters, Hon. Segun Olayiwola said the just concluded Local Government election in the state “marked a significant point in our democratic journey, thus affirming our commitment to fairness, transparency and above all accountability” and that “it is also a testimonial for this administration’s commitment to good governance and adherence to the Rule of Law.

“As you embark on this noble responsibility, I urge you to work hand in hand with your respective executives, utilizing their expertise and fostering collaboration to ensure that the dividends of democracy reach every nooks and crannies of your respective Local Governments. 

It is the dawn of a new chapter, you are urged to work assiduously with unwavering commitment to building a more virile Local Government devoid of acrimony or rancor towards building a better future for all citizens of the Pacesetter’s State.

“At this juncture, I wish to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde  for his unwavering commitment and vision to make Oyo state stand head high amongst the comity of nations in order to compete favourably with our compeers all over the world. May your tenure witness unprecedented development at the grassroots. Congratulations once again.”

With the coming on board of the new 33 Local Government Chairmen and their team, all eyes are now on what will become of their contributions to the growth and development of grassroots administration in and across Oyo state.

Other endorsements 

A group, the Ibadan Youth Indigenes in a congratulatory message by its President Ojekunle Wasiu Olanrewaju while welcoming the new Chairmen on board harps on the need for grassroot development in and across Oyo state courtesy the new leadership at the helm of affairs in the 33 local government areas of the state, saying, ” the time is now for the council chairmen to let people feel more impact of the local government administration especially in the grassroots “

“We thereby advocate and admonish for a development path that prioritizes the needs of the communities you serve at all cost and by all means.Education stands as the cornerstone of progress, thus investing in schools and educational programs is paramount. Additionally, access to quality healthcare services is essential for the well-being of every citizen of your various local government areas. 

“Strengthening healthcare infrastructure and promoting health awareness initiatives will significantly benefit the populace. Infrastructure development, including roads, water supply, and electricity, plays a crucial role in enhancing living standards and facilitating economic growth. Therefore, we urge you to prioritize projects that address these vital needs of the populace.”

The group emphasised, “Also economic empowerment initiatives, such as skill acquisition programs and support for small-scale enterprises, can uplift individuals and families out of poverty, fostering sustainable development. 

“Moreso, the need to ensure transparency, accountability, and active engagement with the communities to bring much needed development to their respective council area”, adding, ” By working collaboratively with residents and stakeholders, we can achieve meaningful progress and build a brighter future for Oyo state. Once again, congratulations on your appointments, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact of your leadership on grassroots development.”

The founder of Beulah Adeoye Foundation, Amofin Beulah Adeoye while congratulating the newly elected local government chairmen in Oyo state charged them to be dedicated to providing better living conditions for the people whilst also investing in the future for those coming behind, saying, “Consider your predecessors in office, how many of them inspire you? Please identify and emulate those ones. 

“There are also those who mis-used their opportunity to provide good governance. Now where are they? Every opportunity granted to serve people is a divine endowment and a sacred trust that must never be betrayed. 

“Please provide good governance to your people. When you are done, you will return to these same people to sit amongst them, like everyone else. In a few short hours, actually less than 26,280 hours, you will be called to account for your tenure. We wish you the best. But note that this wish is also tenured.”

“Our interest in identifying with you before and after your election is deeply rooted in our resolve and passion to serving our people for the purpose of progress and sterling development in your communities. Incidentally, the best place to start that is from the grassroots as you are closest to the people. 

“We supported your cause in all possible way within our capacity and truly identified with you, because of your convincing manifesto, loaded with ideas and productive initiatives capable of making tremendous turnaround in the administration of your local government councils. We now charge you to consolidate on the efforts of your predecessors and to also make the interests of your people a priority”