Dusting the 2002 Oyo State gazette on local government creation, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has approved the creation of 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in addition to the existing 33.
In effect, 14 LCDAs are to be created in Ibadan zone, eight in Oke- Ogun area, seven in Ogbomoso, while four LCDAs was approved for Oyo and two for Ibarapa zone.
Chief of Staff to the state governor, Dr Gbade Ojo, who disclosed this on Tuesday, said the state government was compelled to look into the 2002 gazette, signed during the Lam Adesina-led administration, following the June 16 resolution of the state House of Assembly which asked the executive to approve the creation of LCDAs in the state.
Ojo said the state executive council approved the gazette No 23, Vol. 27 of August 13, 2002 but changed the gazette from the creation of local government areas to creation of LCDAs, to avoid contravening the nation’s constitutional provisions which recognised 33 local government areas in the state.
To this end, he disclosed that Governor Ajimobi had mandated the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice to initiate an executive bill to the state House of Assembly whereby the 2002 gazette would be amended.
Adding that the delineation into LCDAs was in consonance with population and landmass, Ojo argued that the creation of the 35 LCDAs would further bring government closer to the grassroots and enhance socioeconomic development in different localities of the state.
Noting that the 2002 delineation may have become inadequate due to increase in population overtime, Ojo said the state government would welcome memoranda demanding for the creation of more LCDAs.
Ojo spoke in company of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Seun Abimbola, and his counterparts from Information, Culture and Tourism and Local Government and Chieftaincy Matter, Toye Arulogun and Bimbo Kolade, respectively.
Ojo said, “There is a yearning of the people of Oyo State to break down the existing number of local government areas so that we can have more developments in the council areas. The House of Assembly passed a resolution in June asking the executive to approve the creation of LCDAs and the executive governor set up a committee to look into the matter.
“The committee discovered that there was a gazette signed into law in 2002 and in that gazette, 35 LCDAs were created. So, the governor, in an attempt to avoid rancour in any community in the state, asked the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to initiate an executive bill to the state House of Assembly so that the 2002 gazette could be amended.
“When the councils were created by the government of Lam Adesina, they were called local government areas, but going by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, and from the experience of Lagos State government, they have to be called LCDAs.
“The state executive council has directed the Commissioner of Justice to prepare enabling laws as executive bill to be presented to the State House of Assembly so that the new LCDAs, along with their headquarters, could take off in earnest.
“The National Assembly is the only body that can amend the constitution to increase the number of local government areas in any state. For now, we have 35 LCDAs that are to be created in line with the gazette of 2002 which satisfies all legal requirements and provisions.”