Oyo LG polls: Ajimobi’s APC takes all

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the elective positions contested for in the Local Government election held in Oyo state last Saturday.

After the collation of the final results by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), the party’s candidates were declared winners in all the Chairmanship and Councillorship posts in the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) at the commission’s office on Sunday.

The election which held on Saturday after 11 years of its kind in the state, witnessed extremely low turnout, though it was peaceful as residents complied fully with the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to ensure that the exercise did not experience any hitch.
Independent observers, who monitored the election, declared it free and fair.
Though twelve political parties participated in the election, APC candidates were returned unopposed in most of the seats.

Meanwhile, a splinter group within the ruling party, the Unity Forum, has described the “abysmally low turnout” of the electorate at the Saturday’s LG election as a wake-up call on the leadership of the party to intervene in the crisis rocking its Oyo state chapter and reposition it for good outing in the 2019 general elections.

The Forum in the release by its Secretary, Wasiu Olatunbosun, noted that the poll was a referendum on the APC, saying the low turnout was an indication that the party needs to be re-invigorated to stand a fair chance in next year’s elections.

“We have said it for the umpteenth time that the members of the Unity Forum constitute more than 70 per cent of the membership of the APC with a history of party loyalty, discipline and proven capacity to deliver the votes.

“It was to the members of the group that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu turned in 2015 to secure needed votes for the second term bid of Governor Abiola Ajimobi,” the released further stated.

Also, the state chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has thanked the people of the state and particularly its members for boycotting the LG polls, describing the exercise as a ‘rehearsal for APC’s burial’.

The party, which had announced its decision to boycott the exercise ahead of its conduct, made the claim in a statement forwarded to journalists in the name its chairman, Kunmi Mustapha, by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji.

The statement alleged that participating in last Saturday’s local government election in the state would amount to “a tacit endorsement of an illegality as the election failed integrity test right from the inception of the electoral process.”

Stray bullet kills teenage girl as Oyo conducts LG poll

An eighteen-year-old girl was killed at Idi Oro, Ekotedo area in Ibadan by a shot allegedly fired by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) during the Local Government election held across Oyo State on Saturday.

The girl identified as Kofoworola Abubakar was said to be a student of St. Bridget Secondary School, Mokola where she reportedly wrote the last paper in her Senior Secondary School Examinations the previous day.

According to eyewitness account, Kofoworola met her untimely death in front of a patent medicine store where her mother sent her to buy some items.
The eyewitness recalled that a brawl had broken out between two rival cults gangs in the area which prompted residents to call on a team of NSCDC men, who were on election patrol, to come and rescue the situation.
On getting to the spot, the security men shot to the air to disperse the hoodlums, and in the process, one of the bullets hit the poor girl in back of her neck and pierced through her left eye.
Reports said she died on the spot.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, confirmed the incident, saying the suspect was already in the command’s custody.
Ajisebutu added that the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, had directed his men at the Investigation and Intelligent Department to commence diligent investigations into the unfortunate incident.
The NSCDC men were said to have hurried left the scene to avoid been mobbed by residents, who were obviously pained by the girl’s death.
A police team later came to fetch her remains.
Meanwhile, a local government election was held across the state on Saturday.
Despite the constitutional provision for periodic elections in the third tier of government, the state local governments were witnessing the exercise for the first time in the last seven years.

Though peaceful as no incident of violence was recorded in any part of the state, the election witnessed an abysmally low turnout.

Residents used the opportunity of the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to allow them participate in the election to attend to personal issues.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, and his wife, Florence, voted at Ward 9, Unit 20, Community Grammar School, Oluyole Estate III in Ibadan South West Local Government Area.
The governor told newsmen that the poll was quite free, fair and peaceful, adding that everybody was well organised as he commended the people for supporting the process.

“It is great that Oyo has moved from the era of brigandage for which it was known before the inception of this administration in 2011. Since we came on board, we have been encouraging peace. The purpose of government is to ensure peace, security and socio-economic wellbeing of the people of the state. We will continue to do these.”

The CP and the state Coordinator of Civil Societies Organisation from Abuja, Mr. Friday Maduka, also said they visited some parts of the state capital to monitor the election and ensure that law and order were maintained.

LG autonomy public hearing: NULGE seeks quick action from states lawmakers

NULGE

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for quick conduct of public hearings on the amendment to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in which administrative and financial autonomy were proposed for local governments across the federation.
The Southwest Vice President of the union, Oludare Famoofo, gave the charge in Ibadan during a press conference held at the end of a two-day workshop packaged for journalists and members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to enable them play their respective roles more effectively in the quest to enhance governance in the local government system in Nigeria.
As prescribed by the Nigerian constitution, the National Assembly, after concluding its own part of the processes required for the constitutional amendment, had passed its recommendations to the States Houses of Assembly for appropriate action.
Among the alterations done to the constitution was provisions for financial and administrative autonomy for the local governments as the third tier of government in Nigeria.
The state lawmakers were required to make ‘Yes or No’ vote to the National Assembly’s recommendation on the proposed status.
But despite people’s high expectations and the positive changes a nod to the autonomy would bring to governance in the country, the proposal failed to garner a two-third of simple majority of votes in the 36 states Houses of Assembly across the nation.
In fact, only six were able to give a favourable vote, while 24 stepped it down for a public hearing, others voted against.
In the entire Southwest, only Ogun State was among the six states that voted in favour of the proposed autonomy, others promised to hold public hearing to get their constituents more involved the decision making process.
Although, NULGE said it was not against the public hearing as it would ensure a participatory process, it was rather miffed that the promise was being delayed unnecessarily.
“Our lawmakers had promised to hold public hearings on this issue, but none of them ever did for the past months.
“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to them to walk their talk as that would give the people the opportunity to have their say in the whole process,” Famoofo said.
He stated categorically that NULGE was in total support of financial and administrative autonomy for local governments, insisting that the status is the only state in which the third tier of government would play its role of touching the grassroots effectively in the nation’s federal system.
“We know that if local government autonomy is granted, the era of insecurity and infrastructural decay will be over and every community will be allowed to develop at its own pace.
“This will also serve as a the basis for the development of our nation.
“We know all these because we work within the local government system. And that is why we are leading the struggle.”
While calling on other government workers, especially members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the NULGE boss noted that the nation and people will enjoy much better if local government administration is saved from the high level of corruption occasioned by the current constitutional provision that makes it possible for state governors to mismanage funds meant for local governments in their states.

Court relaxes order against Oyo LG election

Town Planning

Oyo State Government has secured an order that will facilitate the conduct of local government election in the state.

In a statement in Ibadan on Wednesday by the Commissioner for information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun quoting the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluwaseun Abimbola, the government stated that Order 3 of the interim injunction forbidding INEC from releasing the voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs has been discharged by the court.

According to Mr. Abimbola, “in respect of the case filed by Oyo baales challenging the LCDAs and in which the court had issued an injunction preventing the conduct of elections into LG&LCDAs. I made an application to the court to discharge the part of the Interim order preventing our conduct of elections into LGs since the subject matter of the suit is only on the propriety of LCDAs and not LGs.

“The other counsels in the matter all conceded to the point as canvassed by the Oyo State Government on this matter. Consequently, the Order 3 of the Interim injunction forbidding INEC from releasing voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs has been discharged by the court. Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) is now at liberty to conduct LG elections only, but not into LCDAs which is still pending in court,” the Attorney General explained.

Abimbola hoped that this would development would clear the air and misrepresentation by the people who believe that the state government was not interested in the conduct of the local government election, pointing out that the order secured is a demonstration to the fact that the state government is ready for the conduct of the election and the barrier has been removed.