Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Monday inaugurated caretaker chairmen for the 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.
Swearing -in the chairmen in Ibadan, Makinde said the inauguration was to ensure that a vacuum was not created in governance “and that our people continue to enjoy the dividends that accrue from electing a legitimate government.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor, on assumption of office on May 29, dissolved the elected council chairmen put in place by the immediate past administration.
Makinde urged the caretaker chairmen to be good ambassadors of his administration at the grassroots.
“You will agree with me that the closer government is to the people, the more impactful and meaningful the activities of government will be to them.
“Therefore, this inauguration is an integral and essential part of the good governance that we promised the people of Oyo State.
“You are indeed occupying unique positions as a link between the state government and the people.
“Ideally, you are the first point of call that should address the governance issues of the people before escalating same to higher authorities.
“In some circles, you will be said to be the eyes and ears of government.
“Bear in mind the four main pillars of our roadmap to accelerated development in the state, namely education, healthcare, security and the economy; through trade and agribusiness.” Makinde stated.
The governor asserted that his administration was committed to the education of children, saying his administration’s goal in education was to ensure “no child is out-of-school.”
“I would be happy to see your plans to make sure that children get off the streets and into the classrooms.
” I know you will have more opportunities to liaise with the parents in a bid to implement our free education policies.
“You will also be in a better position to report any issues that may be working against this policy.
“So, see what is going on, listen to the complaints and challenges the parents have and talk to them about our plans,” he said.
Makinde further said that his government planned to grow the economy of the state through agriculture and trade and advised the caretaker chairmen to remove all obstacles to business growth in their respective areas.
He posited that the economy of the state could not grow if small businesses do not thrive.
“Therefore, we will be expecting you to work with local businesses and the state Internal Revenue Board to make sure that people are happy doing business in Oyo State at the local level.
Speaking on the issue of refuse disposal; Makinde asserted that one of the main functions of local government authority was waste management.
He urged the chairmen to work with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Oyo State Waste Management Authority (OYOWMA) to provide the necessary input to ensure clean environment.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APC council chairmen elected under the former administration of Abiola Ajimobi had, however, instituted action at the Oyo State High Court to challenge their removal before expiration of their term.
Their sack was in spite of the Oyo State High Court order issued on May 6 which restrained the governor and the House of Assembly from suspending or removing elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors in the state.
The court, presided over by Justice A. Aderemi, also restrained the state government from freezing or withholding the bank accounts of the councils while their tenure lasts.
NAN reports that the case was still pending before the court even as the government inaugurated new caretaker chairmen for the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs. (NAN)