… To conduct council polls this year
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State House of Assembly, yuesterday, passed into law, the Local Government (Further) Amendment Bill 2016, amidst tight security.
Daily Sun gathered that lawmakers had envisaged that some people that were aggrieved on the new Local Council Development Authority (LCDAs) that would be created in their zones might stage a protest to disrupt passage of the bill.
Armed policemen with Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs)and Pick-ups manned all gates at the state government Secretariat.
Those who entered the assembly complex were thoroughly screened by the security personnel.
The LCDAs would be carved out from the local government areas in the five political and administrative zones of the state, which are Ibadan, Ibarapa, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Oke-Ogun.
In the distribution, Ibadan, which has 11 local government areas, will get 14 new LCDAs; Ibarapa with three local government areas will also get two LCDAs.
Oyo, which has four local government areas will get four LCDAs while Ogbomoso with five local government areas will get seven LCDAs.
In the same vein, a total of eight new LCDAs would be carved out from the existing 10 local government areas in Oke-Ogun zone.
The bill was passed at plenary, presided over by Speaker Michael Adeyemo.
Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Bolaji Badmos, had presented the report of the committee on Local Government, Chieftaincy Matters and State Honours, which considered the bill, to the House.
After the report was presented, the motion moved by Majority Leader, Kehinde Subair, that the chamber should constitute itself into the Committee of the Whole House to consider the report was adopted.
However, lawmakers called for memoranda for creation of additional LCDAs from the five zones of the state, peradventure they were aggrieved with the creation of the 35 LCDAs.
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi had approved creation of the 35 LCDAs at the state executive council meeting held on Monday August 22, 2016.
His Chief of Staff, Dr. Gbade Ojo, who made the announcement after the meeting, had said: “It is important to add and emphasise that the state executive just gave approval and more legal teeth to Oyo State Gazette No. 23, Vol. 27 of August 13, 2002. That particular Gazette had created 35 Areas but with a nomenclature of local government areas, which may lead to constitutional confrontation with the Federal Government.”
The approval came 14 years after former governor of the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who led the state from 1999 to 2003, gazetted creation of 35 local government areas in the state, which the incumbent administration changed to LCDAs in order to avoid conflict with the Constitution of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the governorhas assured of the state of hitch-free local government election before the end of 2016. He disclosed this on Tuesday when he received the first batch of 176 among the 1,358 pilgrims from the state that went on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
“Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) would soon roll out their calendar for the election, which will hold before the end of the year.”
The governor had said on Friday, March 7, 2016, when he inaugurated the 33 caretaker chairmen in the state that there would not be extension of tenure for the chairmen after the six months given to them by the state House of Assembly.
Daily Sun gathered that the election would have held this month, but for paucity of funds.
A source within the government stated that the government was serious about the new deadline.
Ajimobi was represented at the occasion by Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Alli, who received the pilgrims at the state government secretariat in Ibadan.
The pilgrims were led by the 2016 Amirul Hajj for the state, Sheikh Muyideen Bello. The second batch, comprising 450, was expected to arrive Wednesday.