The All Progressives Congress in Oyo state has described the purported plan by Governor Seyi Makinde to conduct fresh local government election in May this year as a show of vain political gimmicks that won’t attract the attention of any serious political player or pundits.
It added that it is a mere waste of time and resources.
The Oyo APC, in a statement issued on Friday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Special Assistant (Media) to its Caretaker Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, and Secretary to the Committee on the Membership Registration and Revalidation Exercise, Olawale Sadare, stated that Gov. Makinde had again exposed himself as a person who lacked respect for the principle of constitutional democracy and the rule of law.
It would be noted that the PDP administration of Gov. Makinde and the opposition APC had been at loggerheads over the legality of the governor’s decision to dissolve the elected officials of the 33 local government councils and 35 local council development areas on his first day in office in 2019 although the Supreme Court has announced May 7, 2021 as the date for its final verdict on the matter.
The APC expressed its disappointment in the governor for his decision to sack democratically elected chairmen and councillors, tagging it an aberration on democracy and the rule of law.
It also condemned what it described as “back and forth tactics” used by the governor to calm the nerves of the people over the stagnation of his administration to the third tier of government in the state.
The statement added, “… to further demonstrate his (Governor Makinde) disrespect to the Judiciary, Gov. Makinde waited for the Supreme Court to pick a date for its judgment on the ALGON case against him before ordering his stooges in OYSIEC to roll out guidelines for the purported plan to conduct a fresh local government election in the state. In the mind of the governor, the worst scenario would be for the Court to order financial compensation for his victims in lieu of the last two years of the tenure which he has robbed them.
“But our firm belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man gives us an assurance that Gov. Makinde and his party would be utterly disappointed this time because it is clear that he had acted illegally and shamefully to the consternation of all defenders of democracy, rule of law and rationality. For us in APC, our resolve to remain calm so far in the face of oppression, injustice and rights violation was borne out of our commitment to peace in the society as well as the protection of the nation’s fragile democracy.
“It is recalled that we recently granted a request for visitation by the chairman and members of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission appointed by Gov. Makinde without a recourse to the illegality surrounding their appointment. We did this to demonstrate our commitment to dialogue and peaceful resolution of any matter of contention in democracy. The team led by Mr. Isiaka Olagunju (SAN) was told in clear term that our party would always be ready to act in the interest of the society, democracy and the rule of law. What this simply indicates is that we would never be a party to any illegality or act capable of setting a bad precedent in the country no matter the level of intimidation or blackmail.
“Apart from the fact that the planned conduct of local government election in Oyo state is a mockery of democracy and the judiciary, no member of the society would have confidence in Gov. Makinde as somebody who has what it takes to deliver a free, fair and hitch-free poll in the state giving his lackadaisical approach to security of lives and property of the people in the state.”
The statement however concluded by calling on the governor to apologize to the council chairmen and councillors whose tenure he cut short and involve every critical stakeholders, particularly the State House of Assembly, in implementing the verdict of the Supreme Court.