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It is Unconstitutional to Pay 68 Council Chairmen – Makinde
…Tells former LG chairmen to seek court Action on who is to be paid
Oyo state governor; Engr. Seyi Makinde has charged the deposed former LG chairman in the state to approach a court of repute to find out who among them is to be paid regarding a recent supreme court ruling stating that the chairmen are to be compensated with the salaries accrued while their tenure in office lasted.
Governor Makinde revealed this while speaking to a Media correspondent at the Government House, Ibadan. He stated that contrary to the constitutionally recognized 33 local governments, there are additional 35 local council development areas, totalling 68 Local councils which he said begs the question of who among the former council boss should be paid.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered Makinde to pay the outstanding salaries of the said chairpersons but appeared to favour Makinde by noting that the tenures of the sacked council chairmen and councillors had expired.
“The Constitution of Nigeria recognizes 33 local government areas and 351 wards in Oyo State. The previous administration created local development areas and increased the number to 68. We couldn’t work with that, so, we scrapped it and put in place caretaker committees before proper elections were held in the 33 constitutionally recognized local government areas.”
“What the Supreme Court invariably said is that it is its policy that governors should not dissolve local government administrations. They expected me to approach the court to argue the unconstitutionality of the 35 LCDAs. If I had gone to court, it would have taken this length of time for them to reach a decision by which time they would have served out their tenure.”
“They have to go back to court to determine, who among them should be paid. And I doubt if that matter can be decided during my tenure. I may be out of here by that time.”
Makinde also talked about the recent Local government election in the state and said the election is a reflection of his choice for the peoples’ will.
“I deliberately appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as Chairman of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, because I know he will be independent-minded. I have not even spoken to him after the election. I did not know him before the appointment. People told me it was the first time they are taking part in a local government election. Even my people told me it is not done that way. They wanted us to write figures and announce results. I refused to do that.” he said.
Governor Makinde spoke about his position that the constitution review was a waste of time and opined that he was willing to stake his future political career on the fact that nothing useful would come out of the exercise, which he described as “an annual jamboree to waste money.”
His words: “If this constitution amendment succeeds, that will be the end of my political career. That is how strongly I feel about the waste of time and one that is going on. Former President Goodluck Jonathan supervised the production of a document, which many Nigerians agreed is the best document for our civil relations, he did not sign it into law, because he thought he was going to return as President. That document is there and this administration has refused to do something about it.”
He also explained that true federalism is much more than just resource control, adding: “It is the fundamental of how we develop as a people. We should not say because these people are backward, then, you bring everybody to the same starting line. A country must allow its people to develop at their pace.”