Council Chairmen on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Monday, make good their threat by resuming in their various offices within their local government secretariats.
Makinde, shortly after his inauguration May 2019, sacked the chairmen and asked them to hand over to the most senior career officer in their respective councils.
The council chairmen were elected on May 12, 2018, in local government election conducted by former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The sacked chairmen however, at the weekend, threatened to resume on Monday after about eight months of legal battle with the state government.
Some of the sacked chairmen on Monday made good their threats by resuming.
Information gathered from all the 33 local government areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state showed that majority of the chairmen were on seat.
However, there were pockets of violence in Ibadan South East and Ibadan North East councils where some hoodlums reportedly hijacked the situation.
There were sounds of gun shots at Ibadan South East, following an attempt by some thugs to prevent the sacked chairmen from gaining entrance into the council offices.
In most of the councils where the chairmen reportedly resumed office, the gates to the council secretariat and offices were forcefully opened to pave way for the chairmen and the councillors to gain access into the offices.
In Oluyole Local Government Area, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshiloye who is the chairman of ALGON , as well as the council chairman, resumed office and held a prayer session with some of his followers.
After the skirmishes in Ibadan South East Local Government Area, the chairman, Mr. Bimbo Omiyale and his followers resumed office.
Reports from Ibadan East Local Council Development Area, Ogbomoso Central Local Council Development Area, Iseyin Local Government Area, Itesiwaju Local Government Area and Ibarapa Central also indicated that the sacked chairmen resumed by forcing the door opened.
Abass-Aleshiloye , the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), had insisted that he and his members were ready to cooperate with Makinde to move the state.
Abass-Aleshiloye, who addressed journalists at ALGON office in Ibadan, the state capital on Monday, maintained that he and his members had employed all peaceful and legal options to reclaim their mandates eight months after they were sacked.
He added that their resolve to resume their offices was premised on Supreme Court judgement which declared that no Governor has the right to unjustly dissolve elected chairmen.
Abass-Aleshiloye urged local government workers to resume back to their various offices, urged the people of the state to remained law abiding and not to panic.
He alleged that all efforts to meet with the Governor by the dissolved chairmen have been meeting brick walls.
Abass-Aleshiloye added that it was unfortunate that it is only Makinde that remained adamant in the return of the local government chairmen in his state, stressing that local government chairmen who were illegally sacked in Ogun, Ekiti, and Kwara have been returned.
According to him: “We have resumed, though NULGE (local government workers) members did not come today. We talked to the people, we held a prayer and we urged people to be law abiding. Till the time I left, there was no problem.
“But, we just heard that there were some hoodlums that are going around unleashing violence on the people. But, we assured people that we will be peaceful. By law, I am the Chairman of Oluyole Local Government Area.
“I am still compiling the report, we have majority of our people that resumed today, but there are some elements that want to attack us. We have instances in Ekiti, Kwara, Ogun where the sacked Chairmen have been returned. Why will Oyo state be different?
“This is a self-inflicted pain on the people of Oyo State. For almost 8 months, we have not been in the office, we waited and we are law abiding people.
Makinde has never called us. We must finish our tenure. We have spent one year in the office before he came, and we must finish our tenure.” (The Nation)