Oyo LG crisis: Out-of-court settlement hits brick wall

Attempts to resolve the local government crisis in Oyo state, the out-of-court settlement has hit a brick wall with the Oyo state government and the sacked Chairmen failing to find common ground on the issue.

While the sacked Chairmen alleged that the state government failed to present a position paper at their meetings, the state government held that the sacked Chairmen were frustrating the settlement by insisting on absolute terms.

In a statement signed by their Chairman, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye and Secretary, Mr Olayinka Jesutoye, the sacked Chairmen said they were baffled that the state government’s counsels at its last meeting held on Monday, said they were no more willing to continue the negotiation.

According to the sacked Chairmen, the u-turn had been preceded with the state government also at its first meeting on February 8, not making a proposal to resolve the matter out of court.

As against the state government’s counsels, the sacked Chairmen said they approached the meetings with a prepared position paper intent on resolving the matter amicably.

“Sequel to the invitation by the Oyo State Government to the ALGON, Oyo State Chapter, for amicable resolution of the present political impasse in the State, ALGON representatives met with the Governor’s team on the 8th February 2020, to find a common ground in resolving the political imbroglio in the State (ALGON had gone with a prepared position paper).

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“ALGON demonstrated willingness in the interest of the good people of Oyo State and to release the grassroots from the ‘cul de sac’ that the present administration in Oyo State has plunged the state into in the last nine (9) months by submitting its proposal to the Government’s team who was at the meeting surprisingly without a position.

“It is disheartening to inform the general public that the Government that proposed an amicable settlement treated same with levity and shenanigans and postponed the meeting to the 10th February 2020 to enable the Government to take a position.

“But to our disappointment, the Government made a U-TURN through their representatives and told the ALGON’s team that the governor was not willing to go on with the said negotiation again without proposing anything to the ALGON.

On the contrary, the Oyo State government poked the sacked Chairmen for deliberately frustrating the planned out-of-court settlement of the crisis rocking local governments in the state.

Special Counsel to the State Governor, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), in a statement on Tuesday, said that the sacked chairmen wrongly latched onto a script by the Attorney General of the Federation, which he said lacks foundation in law.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Special Counsel to the Governor of Oyo State as saying that the ALGON members came to the negotiation table with absolute terms.

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“Information available to me indicated that the ALGON members went to the meeting meant to resolve the matter with absolute terms.

“Basically, it is in the interest of the entire State to have the matter sorted out and I must say that the government of Oyo State remains committed to observing the rule of law.

“The Attorney General of the Federation sought to enforce a Supreme Court judgment that the Oyo State Government was not a party to. He issued a directive that was not grounded in law and in the spirit of federalism, that was resisted because federalism does not allow the AGF, whose duties are with the Federal Government and at best the Federal Capital Territory to interfere with the legal process in any of the constituent part of the federation.

“And as everybody may know, local governments are under the state government. So, at any point in time, the Oyo State Government did not walk out on any discussion towards resolving the matter.

“The last meeting they held, the Government was well represented by the AG, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and counsel to the State, Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN), who is also a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly. But the sacked ALGON chairmen came with absolute terms, which could be seen as a way of trying to thwart the peace moves. It will be in the interest of all parties to reconvene under a very amiable atmosphere and come to the conclusion on how to move forward,” the statement read.

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