Unarguably, Local Government Administration In Oyo State is in a state of comatose.
Since the inception of Governor Makinde’s administration in 2019, his disdain for freedom of the third tier of Government is visible even to the blind.
There are empirical evidence to conclude that local government administration have never been so stifled as it is now.
Infrastructures in the local governments across Oyo State has totally collapsed due to paltry release of local government monthly allocation by the Governor.
There is no doubt that the relationship between the Governor and the local government chairmen is like that of a master to servants.
The usual practice of the monthly Joint Allocation Committee (JAC) between the Governor and the local government chairmen is a thing of the past.
Before Governor Makinde’s administration, matters of funds to be released and projects to be embarked upon by the local governments is mutually agreed upon at the JAC meetings.
The situation now is completely the opposite.
Governor Makinde is the Alpha and Omega over the activities of the local governments.
He single handedly determines whatever paltry sums to be released to the local governments.
He is the one who single handedly determines what projects the local governments will embark upon.
It is this illegal meddling in the affairs of the local governments that is responsible for the lack of physical developments in the local governments.
I was a Supervisor for Works in my local government at some point during the eleven months administration of late former Governor Alao Akala.
Even though I served a chairman who was elected under the Alliance for Democracy while late Governor Akala was a PDP Governor, the freedom of the local government was effectively guaranteed.
We were able to embark on major projects like tarring of roads, building of schools and other tangible infrastructures.
Approval limits were set for the local government chairmen and the local government executives popularly referred to as the Finance and general purpose committee (F&GPC).
I doubt if there is anything of such now.
Since local government chairmen were elected under Governor Makinde, there is no council chairman who have tarred a kilometer of road.
The local government chairmen can not embark on capital projects!
The few local governments where capital projects are done, the council chairmen had nothing to do with such projects. It is Governor Makinde who spends the funds of the such local governments on their behalf. A good example is the reconstruction of the popular Akesan market in Oyo.
The question that will excise the mind is why will Governor Makinde decide to desperately cling to the local government funds in violent breach of section seven of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1979 as amended?
The answer is not far fetched. Governor Makinde have been spending funds of the local governments without authorization and at that, on matters outside of the purview of the local governments.
Spending local governments funds on acquisition of LAUTECH is an illegality regardless of the fact that the acquisition is a laudable step.
Spending local governments funds on acquisition of security vehicles and apparatuses without mutual consent of the local governments chief Executives is also criminal.
Yes, Governor Makinde have publicly voiced his disdain for the independence of the local governments.
His disdain however is immaterial because the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria supercedes his disdain.
It appears to look like the local governments do not exist in the thinking of Governor Makinde but he must be reminded that his position on local government administration is just his personal sour dreams.
He shall be made to account for meddling in the affairs of the local governments at the appropriate time.
Com. SOLA ABEGUNDE.