The Oyo State All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed dismay over what it described as “myriad of disappointing actions already taken by Governor Seyi Makinde” less than 24 hours after his inauguration. The party warned that the new governor “might create more crises for himself if care was not taken”.
This came as local government chairmen vowed to remain in office despite Makinde’s dissolution directive.
The chairmen contended that he lacked the power to dissolve a constitutionally elected local government administration.
But, Oyo APC, in a statement in Ibadan yesterday by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, regretted that the new governor started to breach the oath of office right from the venue of the swearing-in ceremony when he failed to condemn the activities of his supporters, who allegedly harassed innocent people and perceived opponents.
The statement reads: “We, at the APC, had resolved to give him (Governor Makinde) a benefit of the doubt since he was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the March 9, 2019, gubernatorial poll in the state while the court is yet to decide on the attendant petition before it, but events in the last 24 hours have suggested to us that there is fire on the mountain.
“How can one swear to an Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic and then turn back a few hours later to wage war against democracy at the grassroots? The decision to dissolve elected officials in all the local government councils across the state is not only misplaced but a gross violation of the nation’s constitution as well as a coup against constitutional democracy.
“One would have expected Governor Makinde to resist pressure from his PDP members who are desperate for political office appointments at the third tier level as mere compensation and uphold the sanctity of the rule of law in view of the fact that the current council chiefs hold a valid three-year mandate from a popular election and in addition to that, there is a Supreme Court verdict which shields them from being sacked from office irrationally.”
It added: “Rather than dissipate time and resources on unnecessary actions in order to satisfy the whims and caprices of some political hangers-on, it would be in the overall interest of the state for the governor to approach governance with caution and seek proper guidance from God and appropriate resource persons. The good people are better informed after the successful two terms of Senator Abiola Ajimobi and they deserve the best from his successors.
But, the Oyo State Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), has vowed that its members would remain in office until a properly constituted court of law voids their election.
Addressing reporters in Ibadan on Thursday, ALGON chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abbas-Aleshinloye, called on security agencies to protect members of the association and elected councilors as they continue to carry out their duties in the office.
The council bosses said they remained the democratically elected chairmen and would still report to offices as such.
At a news conference, which held at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Abass-Alshinloye noted that there was a subsisting valid court order which prohibited the governor or even the House of Assembly from dissolving elected local council authorities in the state.
Sanwo-Olu makes U-turn on Apapa gridlock
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday made a U-turn on his earlier promise to end the Apapa gridlock within his first 60 days in office.
Sanwo-Olu was at the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari to seek support for the development of infrastructure in Lagos.
He said he tabled the issue of the Lekki and Badagry ports before the President for development as possible alternatives to the congested Apapa port.
The governor said Buhari gave “encouraging” responses to the issues he raised.
Speaking with State House Correspondents, Sanwo-Olu said what he promised concerning the Apapa gridlock was a “review” of the multi-faceted efforts being put in place to ease vehicular movement in Apapa at the end of 60 days.
He said, “Interestingly, some media houses are already counting down to the day. They said that I mentioned during the campaign train that I was going to clear it in 60 days.
“I have mentioned it before; what I said was that in 60 days, we would review what was done; but that does not take the fact that even if people give you datelines, it is because they want you to do well and they want you to be accountable for those datelines.”
According to Sanwo-Olu, clearing the gridlock is one of the issues he discussed with Buhari.
Sanwo-Olu, in another development on Tuesday, urged Lagosians living in Abuja be to be good ambassadors of the State.
He said, “I can only wish our people that reside in Abuja well, Nigeria is big for all of us. My advice is just for them to be law abiding, to continue to reflect the spirit of Lagos; continue to be good ambassadors of the state.”
Kaduna: Governor scraps three ministries, replace with new ones
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, has created three new ministries and scrapped three others.
A statement by spokesperson to el-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said the restructuring did not increase the number of ministries beyond the 14 that existed in the first-term, as the governor only signed an Executive Order creating three new ministries, while abolishing three ministries and amending the mandates of three others.
The statement read: “In a major rejig of the governance structure, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has signed an Executive Order to create and restructure ministries in Kaduna State.
The order abolishes the Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism, the Ministry of Rural & Community Development and the Ministry of Water Resources. It amends the mandates of the ministries responsible for local government, women and social development, works and sports.
“The newly created ministries are Business, Innovation and Technology; Housing & Urban Development and Internal Security and Home Affairs.
“Ministries with amended or expanded mandates include: Human Services and Social Development; Public Works and Infrastructure and Sports Development.”
Bauchi: Three APC members vying for the post of Speaker
Three members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are vying for the speaker’s seat, ahead of the inauguration of the 9th Bauchi State House of Assembly on Monday.
However, there is conflict of interest over which senatorial zone should produce the Speaker.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – led government might play a key role in determining who would become the next Speaker.
According to The Nation, PDP doesn’t have the numerical strength to produce the Speaker in the state. It has just eight members in the Assembly while the APC has the majority of 22, leaving the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) with just a member.
The PDP is however throwing its weight behind one of the top contenders, Abubakar Suleiman, a new member representing Ningi Constituency in Bauchi Central Zone. The other two contenders are former Speaker Kawuwa Shehu Damina, representing Darazzo Constituency. He is said to be optimistic of being returned.
But there is also the Majority Leader, Hon. Tijanni Muhammad Aliyu, representing Azare / Mangala Constituency.
A source familiar with the power- sharing formula for the emergence of a Speaker said the PDP is not comfortable with the former Speaker returning due to his antecedents in the immediate past administration of Mohammed Abubakar.
The source who spoke in confidence said: “Since the Governor Bala Mohammed is from Bauchi South, his Deputy Sule Audu Katagum is from Bauchi North, the Speaker’s seat has been zoned to Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone.
“The outgoing Speaker is from Darazo Local Government Area in Bauchi Central, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu, is from Bauchi North, and Abubakar Suleiman is from Ningi Constituency.
“Though the former Speaker is from Bauchi Central, the governor is not comfortable with him due to his antecedents in the immediate past administration of Mohammed Abubakar, so the governor is throwing is full weight behind the man from Ningi.”
The source however clarified with the power- sharing formula; someone from Bauchi Emirate will not emerge as Speaker since the Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Muhammad Sabiu Baba and the Governor are both from Bauchi Emirate in Bauchi Central.
He said further with the power- sharing formula, the choice of speaker remains in Bauchi Central but must definitely be from another local government, which is not part of Bauchi Emirate.
“The outgoing speaker is from Darazzo local government in Bauchi Central and Darazzo is also part of Bauchi Emirate.That is why PDP don’t want him.
Ibadan traditional rulers at loggerhead
Ibadan Obas have faulted the insistence of the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji that this year’s masquerade festival must be according to his directive instead of following the tradition of the ancient city. According to the Ibadan Obas, comprising the members of Olubadan-in-Council, who were promoted from high chiefs and the promoted Baales, “there’s no tradition restricting the masqueraders to specific places as stated by the Olubadan”.
In a statement signed by the Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity to the Olubadan, Mr. Adeola Oloko, Oba Adetunji had on Sunday directed that “only the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and the Olubadan of Ibadanland would be entertained by the masqueraders”.
But, the Otun Olubadan, who is next in rank to the first class monarch, Oba Lekan Balogun, said the directive by Oba Adetunji was against the tradition.
He stressed that the senior members of the Olubadan-in-Council must be entertained by the masqueraders in line with the tradition of the annual festival.
Oba Balogun, in a statement he issued on behalf of other Obas yesterday, maintained that the Ibadan Obas had the assurances of the custodians of the masquerade festival that they would not defy the tradition to please the Olubadan, who ordinarily should be the prime custodian of the festival.
Subsequently, the Otun Olubadan said he would receive the masqueraders in his Aliiwo family house tomorrow by virtue of his position as the next in rank to the Olubadan, who was supposed to be entertained by the masqueraders in his Popoyemoja Palace yesterday to kick-start the annual festival.
Equally, the Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, would play host to the masqueraders on Saturday, according to Oba Balogun, who said at each of the visits by the masqueraders, all other Obas, as well as the recognized Mogajis of Ibadanland, would be on the seat.
The Ibadan Obas, however, aligned themselves with the charge on the masqueraders and their supporters by Oba Adetunji to eschew violence.