There’s a general saying that ‘two wrongs can not make a right’ which of course must have informed Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde’s decision to immediately dissolve the illegally constituted local government chairmen in 2018 by the then governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at the wake of the build up the build up to the 2019 governorship election after seven years as governor without local government election.
When the news of former governor Ajimobi’s order to Oyo APC leadership, being APC national deputy chairman, to refund the party’s 2018 local government aspirants nomination monies to them filtered out, some very pertinent but disturbing questions readily pop up in the mind.
First question is, was Ajimobi trying to use this strategy to appease most of its party’s aggrieved and scattered members as part of a move to build party cohesion?
Second question is, was this move just a giveaway from the excess state resources reportedly carted away by the erstwhile governor since there’s still so much of public resources in private pockets which could go round, in order to bring back lost sheep back into its fold?
Thirdly, could it be that Ajimobi just ruled without respect for tenets and principles of internal democracy in a 21st century democracy which gave rise to the past to hunt the present at the detriment of the future?
Could it possibly be that Ajimobi in his deceitful clever calculations could be planning on setting up a new APC party structure in Oyo state beginning with its party’s state executives thereby, creating a political scene to implicate the current Oyo APC state exco in case of its inability to provide the expected funds so as to give way for the emergence of a new APC party structure in the state?
The mind bugging questions from Ajimobi’s singular order to the state APC leadership are way too much and to go on trying to itemize them may just be a futile exercise because give and take, internal politics has begun in earnest against 2023, but whatever the motive behind the former governor’s order was, it is better left for them to ache their heads about.
What necessitated this piece was the way and manner the dissolved illegally constituted Oyo ALGON under Mr Abass Aleshinloye had fought tooth and nail with the state government under the leadership of governor Seyi Makinde, using the influence and of the federal government to push its sinister agenda to cause chaos and disturb public peace in the state.
Shortly, after the illegally constituted ALGON was sworn in by their leader, Sen Ajimobi, who was the then governor, they quickly hurried to court to seek a court injunction to restrain the same governor who was the architect of their illegal emergence as council chairmen across all 33 local government and 35 local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state prior to realizing their illegality aimed at achieving a sinister agenda.
The question that comes to mind with this development is who does that? But as the saying goes ‘there’s never a smoke without a fire’ of course this must have been a calculated plan B by the leadership in case the 2019 governorship election was lost to SeySeyikinde of the PDPPDPich was actually lost as envisaged by the APCAPCving realized that people may APCrevolt through votes after its numerous atrocities and economic blunders.
Knowing fully well that it had goofed by not allowing internal democracy to thrive and grossly violating the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines for the conduct of local government election in Nigeria, and having lost the 2019 governorship election to Seyi Makinde of PDP, the party quickly moved to implementing its plan B agenda by returning to court to activate the deceitfully obtained injunction from court so as to continue to remain in office.
The governor of Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde of PDP has continued to maintain that the entire process that produced the dissolved Oyo ALGON was faulty insisting that an illegality could not be corrected by another illegality leading to the dissolution of the Abass Aleshinloye ALGON.
Despite a court order restraining the dissolved ALGON from forcefully taking over local governments secretariats in the state, the Abass Aleshinloye led ALGON went ahead with a move for a forceful takeover of local government secretariats leading to public outcry that resulted in the stay at home order by National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Oyo state chapter.
After several intergovernmental communication and understandings peace and normalcy was restored and local government Caretaker committee headed by the caretaker chairmen across the state were sworn in by governor Makinde for the smooth running of local government administration.
Now that former governor Ajimobi and Oyo APC are embroiled in a cash refund to 2018 APC local government aspirants saga, can we begin to ask salient questions as to the legality of the dissolved ALGON during the period they were in office, and the validity of their claims of fulfilling INEC guidelines prior to the 2018 supposed local government election in Oyo state?
As a political watcher and public analyst, it is my view that the Oyo APC in the interest of peace refrain from further legal tussle with the state government in this regard and save both the court and state the needless legal war as the recent Ajimobi’s order of cash refunds to the aforementioned aspirants has clearly justified Oyo PDP’s Position that the entire process that produced the dissolved ALGON was faulty and could not be sustained.
The simple implication of not taking the gentleman’s path by the APC and the dissolved ALGON could mean that they may be held to account by the present state government for the entire period it held office if found to be illegal.
Afeez Opeyemi Omoleader writes from Ibadan.