Chairman, Oyo State House Committee on Creation of Local Government Areas in 2002, Honourable Olagunju Ojo, has called for caution in view of arguments against the number of local councils allocated to some zones, listing social background, viability, landmass, population, as the criteria used in the allocation.
Avowing the fairness of the committee then, he said the recommendation of additional 35 local government areas were also based on requests made by people across localities in the state, adding that a referendum was conducted then.
While noting that recent agitations may not be unconnected with developments over time, Ojo urged areas with such agitations for Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) not to delay the implementation of the 2002 gazette, but rather forward their memoranda to the state government.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Ojo appealed to members of the state House of Assembly and other citizens of the state, to allow the bill on further amendment of the local government law, 2002 to see the light of the day.
Ojo, who is the current Minority Leader in the assembly, said “Some of the things we considered were social background, viability, landmass and population. All we did was based on requests made by the people and we conducted a referendum before arriving at the local government areas that were recommended”.
“Those areas with agitations should forward their memorandum rather than delay the implementation of the 2002 gazette. The state government will appoint a steering committee on boundary adjustment for harmonisation of boundaries. So, I am appealing to my fellow honourable members to cooperate and allow this bill to be amended as requested by the executive arm.
“Just after the Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration showed desire to implement the 2002 gazette on local government creation, the former Chairman of Itesiwaju Local Government Area, Mr Supo Olayode, decried that no local council was allocated to that area, due to their failure to agree on location of a headquarters.
“Also, Olorunsogo was just carved out of Irepo Local Government at that time. And, there was no request by Olorunsogo, at that time.
“A member of the committee then was also from Ibarapa zone and they were allocated two LCDAs. At that time, one of the principal officers of the House, who accompanied us in the trip round the state, represented Oke Ogun zone. We consider a lot before we arrived at the number of LGs allocated to the different zones and every zone was represented in the committee by at least one member.
“You cannot satisfy everybody, at every time, and that is why there is an opportunity for the people to present memoranda requesting for additional LCDAs. And the House will consider it, but let us implement the existing 2002 gazette,” Ojo said.