I listened to Akeem Olatunji, erstwhile Public Relations Officer of the People’s Democratic Party on the program tagged “Ijoba Ibile”.
Honestly, I pitied the gentleman who obviously struggled without success to defend the scandalous handling of the Local Government funds by Governor Seyi Makinde.
As we speak, Olatunji is the candidate of the PDP in the Local Government Election slated for April, 2024.
His approbation and reprobation in the attempt to justify the illegal meddlesomeness by the Governor in the reconstruction of the Akesan market without wanting to admit that the Governor actually engaged in illegal spending of Local Government funds was laughable to say the least.
Governor Makinde’s misappropriation of Local Government funds is not only legendary, it is daring.
The Governor never shy away from his belief that the Local Government are ” unnecessary evils” in his own estimation.
To him, existence of Local Governments is an aberration and he made it clear prior to the 2023 general election.
Infact, he was emphatic that he doesn’t support independence of the Local Governments.
Little wonder Local Governments in the state have become an extension of the Governor’s office under Governor Makinde.
Myself, a former office holder in the Local Government never, in my wildest imagination emphisaged that a Governor could be so mean to the extent that Local Government Chairmen would be reduced to mere ” men Friday” of the Governor.
The confidence with which Governor Makinde admits to being the one who helps the Local Government Chairmen to keep, spend and monitor their legitimate monthly allocation depicts the Chairmen as incompetent dummies, with due respect.
Developments in the third tier of Government within Oyo state is comatose due to the illegal meddling of the Governor.
Though, the Chairmen always pretend to portray a picture that all is well, the total absence infrastructural developments and the comatose pictures that stare us in the face is a confirmation that they have just been forced to suffer and smile simultaneously.
How will they dare to invite the wrath of the Emperor Governor on whose mercy they were se/elected in the first place.
The April 2024 is an opportunity for the people of Oyo state to rescue the Local Governments.
A lot of people have argued that Governors in Nigeria are the bane of developments in the Local Governments.
That may well be so but not totally so.
Starting from the time of the late Great Lam Adesina, to the regimes of Senator Ladoja, Chief Alao Akala and late Ajimobi, Oyo state have never had it this bad.
Governor Makinde’s predecessors in office were magnanimous enough to allow the Local Governments to enjoy a great deal of financial independence.
If you see any tangible or meaningful projects in the Local Governments today, they were done within the periods of this former Governors.
I recollect very well that Local Government Chairmen were allowed to independently identify projects in those periods.
All they needed to do was to seek and obtain approvals through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In fact, within this periods, approval limits were set from stage to stage beginning from the Chairmen, the Local Governments Executives which were known as the Finance and General Purposes Committee, (F&GPC), the Commissioner for Local Government and ultimately, the Governor.
There is nothing of such now. It is the “Almighty formula”, the Governor knows it all.
Incidentally, the surest and most viable means of Internally Generated Revenues, (IGR), which is the Motor Parks is also firmly under the grip of the Governor.
Under Governor Makinde, the Local Governments are left naked!
Like I said, the opportunity offered by the forthcoming Local Government Election is such that must be taken seriously by the people of Oyo state.
If Governor Makinde is allowed to select his cronies to the Local Governments for another three years, the result will be catastrophic.
I do not agree with those who say that opposition political parties can not win in a Local Government Election.
It is very possible. It has happened in the past and can still happen.
All that is required is the will and determination to make it happen.
Very obviously, Oyo state Local Governments can not survive another Three years of recklessness that we witnessed under Governor Makinde and his PDP.