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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday declared that he did not meet any elected local government official when he came in as Governor of the state in May last year.
Makinde made this declaration when he met with the 33 Caretaker Chairmen of local governments and 35 chairmen of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) he appointed last month.
Makinde was speaking amidst the crisis that is currently rocking the local government administration in the state.
Platform Times recalls that both the state government under the leadership of Mr. Makinde and the local government chairmen who were elected under the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi have been at loggerheads.
Makinde while reacting to the current imbroglio in the local government administration in the state, insisted that he did not meet any elected local government official.
He described the local government Chairmen whom he sacked, as mere pretenders.
“But as far as I am concerned, when we came in, in the eyes of the law, we did not meet any elected local government officials. We met pretenders and we have asked them to leave. And that is also the position of the law until the court says otherwise. So, I want you to be focused, single-minded and move away from business as usual,” he said.
He then told the Caretaker Chairmen that the people of the state expect massive development of the councils under his watch.
According to the Governor, the new chairmen should see their appointments as opportunities to serve, noting that despite the distractions of parts of the councils by the sacked illegal chairmen, the caretaker chairmen must remain strong, steadfast and dedicated to delivering the dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroots.
“This is about service to our people. Wherever you are, make sure you serve diligently and let them know what you are doing in that place. I have not had the time to meet with you face to face to tell you about the vision of this administration.
“Whatever happened in the past remains in the past. We have looked for the best hands we can join hands together to move this state forward and that exactly is what this Government is all about. They can peddle half-truths and outright lies but we should not be distracted. We need to be focused on the task at hand and.
“We had an injunction against the Attorney General of Federation, Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State and all their agents to allow us to run the local government administration according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have been able to accumulate some money for the local governments because since we came in and owing to the crisis too, we have not been able to judiciously utilize the money meant for that tier of government. But now that you are on the seat, we will all pull together, decide on the project for each of our local government and local council development areas. And once we have agreed, go ahead and execute these projects because the people are waiting for us. They want to see developments at the grassroots and you are all the ones to make it happen.
“I want to once again congratulate you and let you know that there are several people that are qualified to sit in that position. So, you have to demonstrate the capacity to hold that position. On that note, remain strong, steadfast and dedicated and deliver dividends of democracy to our people.”