By Olayinka Oladele, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has assured the people of the state that elections into the 33 local governments and 35 local council development areas (LCDAs) would be held as soon as the suit against it was settled.
He gave the assurance while inaugurating the caretaker chairmen for 55 local governments and local council development areas in the state at the Executive Council Chambers, Governor’s Office, Ibadan.
A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice John Tsoho had in January 2017 ordered the Oyo State Independent Election Commission (OYSIEC) not to proceed with its plan to conduct the election earlier slated for February 11.
The order was sequel to a motion ex-parte filed on behalf of 16 Baales from Oyo Federal Constituency by their lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, pursuant to the creation of 35 LCDAs in the state.
But the governor maintained at the inauguration ceremony that immediately the case was settled, the much-anticipated local government election would hold.
“The day the court case is settled is the day we will announce the date of election,’’ he said, urging the new chairmen to perform exemplarily so as to be worthy of being voted anytime the election would be held.
“The only advantage you have now as you have been sworn in is that you can quickly do things that will endear you to your people before election.
“You are caretakers, holding forth for others and your tenure is temporary. So, be rest assured that your good work will be your certificate of retention. If you fail to work well, we will remove you,’’ he said.
Ajimobi also advised the new council bosses not to see their appointment as an opportunity for them to line their pockets with public funds, reminding them of the oath of office which they took to maintain faithfulness with tenets of governance and adhere to rule of law as well as the principle of confidentiality.
He posited that human satisfaction resides in public service and that those who have the opportunity to serve their people, especially those in dire need at the grassroots should do so wholeheartedly as they would be adding value to the system.
“There is a lot of satisfaction in public service, especially when you serve those in real need of it at the grassroots. A leader must not only visualise, he must also have courage to reject what is wrong.
“Remember the oath of allegiance you just took which has to do with faithfulness. Your action must be according to the law, act without fear or favour and do everything in adherence to the principle of confidentiality,’’ he counseled.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Chief Bosun Ajuwon of Ibadan North-West Local Government expressed appreciation to the governor and the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) in the state for the trust reposed in them.
He promised that the new council bosses would deliver on the promises of the Ajimobi-led administration to ensure better life for the people at the grassroots.