LG crisis: Don’t heat up Oyo polity, Folarin tells Oyo govt

• Says disrespect of judiciary, recipe for anarchy

The Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Senator Teslim Folarin, has said that the Oyo State government should respect the rule of law in the local government crisis in the state and not create undue chaos in the state by heating up the polity.

The former Senate Leader, who made the call in a statement, on Wednesday, said the Oyo State government should learn from the experience of Ekiti State where he said local government chairmen elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the administration of former Governor Ayodele Fayose still served under All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Governor Kayode Fayemi.

He said this was as a result of the Supreme Court judgement of 11th December, 2019.

Folarin said: “The judgement rightfully recognised local government as the third tier of government, whose elected officers cannot be sacked by any state governor or House of Assembly. The five-man Supreme Court Panel of Justices, led by Justice Olubolade stripped the state governors of the power to sack elected local government Chairmen and councillors and also banned the appointment of caretaker Chairmen by the State Governors.

“The beauty of the judgement is that it drew the curtain on the illegality which had dominated our polity since our return to the current democratic dispensation in 1999.”

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According to him, the judgement also declared null and void the Act that gave powers to state House of Assembly to sack elected local government chairmen, saying “not only these, the judge ruled that all (36) state governors, House of Assemblies and Minister of the FCT be served with the copies of the judgement.”

He said he was of the opinion that the recent letter by the Attorney General of the Federation to the Oyo State Governor was in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive.

He said: “The reason for the state government in attempting to sack duly elected council officers in spite of the Supreme Court ruling and in complete disobedience of another Ibadan High Court ruling against such action eludes any sane mind. Why can’t the state government await the outcome of their pending appeal before appointing illegal caretaker who the constitution and the Supreme Court judgement has proscribed and declared unconstitutional?

“We as members of the opposition APC in Oyo State respect the decision of the judiciary when it affirmed the election of Governor Seyi Makinde. We urge him to equally respect the decision of the same judiciary in the matter of local government administration. To do otherwise is a recipe for anarchy.

“When we fail to abide by the rule of law, we invite anarchy, the main reason I will urge this administration not to heat the polity.”

While I thank the law-abiding citizens of our dear state for abiding with law and order, I equally salute the courage of the elected chairmen and councillors for returning to their offices despite threats, intimidation, harassment and violence by the PDP members, state government and their sponsored thugs. I also appreciate the law enforcement agents for performing their duties in line with the law.

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