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Why We Rejected Makinde’s Offer – Oyo ALGON Chair
Indication emerged on Tuesday as to why the illegally sacked Chairmen under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), in Oyo State stuck to what would be the outcome of their legal battle in a bid to reclaim their seats.
Governor Makinde recently said he would comply with the judgement of the Supreme Court that said the sacked council bosses be paid their salary and allowance for the duration of their tenure that they were sacked.
The Governor who said he was not surprised at the judgement lashed out at the victorious council bosses noting that he had since last year offered them the same option of paying them off but that the embattled council bosses had insisted on returning to office and end their tenure.
During a ‘Thank you visit’ to legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola at his Agodi residence, the council bosses said they didn’t take Makinde’s offer so as not to be part of the government corruption.
Speaking, the Chairman of Oyo ALGON, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye said the concern of the chairmen was neither the money nor the office, as wrongly claimed by Makinde, but the need to deepen democracy at the grassroot.
The visibly joyful council bosses from the 33 local government areas (LGAs) and 35 local council development areas (LCDA) were in attendance to express their appreciation the Chief Akintola who provided them legal service pro-bono up until the Supreme Court.
He said “How can you give me money for the work I didn’t do and I have not done. Governor Makinde wanted to pay us last year when we have not done the work. And it is not legal and at the end of the day, it is all about corruption.
“If we had collected the money, we were encouraging corruption. And anybody can come up later in the year or in the nearest future to challenge us that we collected money for the work we had not done.
“But, now, any proclamation from the Supreme Court is law. This is law. A judgement has been given, the money is due to us and we can collect it now. When he (Makinde) wanted to pay us, the question was, why will he pay us? Why will he even sack us in the first instance when the court said it’s wrong? Why would you do that? If you had done that and you said you want to pay us, that in itself is corruption, so we will never be part of a thing.
“For us, if we had collected the money at the time, and when people see us, will they not say it was all about the money?
“But for us, it was not about the money or the office, it is about the rule of law and I am saying it, I personally don’t ever have interest in contesting any local government elections again in my life.
“But the whole idea is for us to show that we want democracy to be entrenched at the grassroot and that is what we have done. We have laid precedence and for generations to come, the sacrifice we have made will always be enjoyed by those who will occupy the office at the local government level.”
While speaking, Chief Akintola said he decided to offer free legal service to the embattled council bosses as parts of his contributions to the development and progress of the party.
While encouraging the party members and leaders in attendance on the need to be united, Akintola said his commitment to the progressive fold and sacrificial services were some of the things learnt from the late Chief Bola Ige.