Local government chairpersons sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Monday resumed in their offices.
The federal government directed the state government to recall the officials, based on a judgment of the Supreme Court that governors cannot arbitrarily dissolve elected local government councils.
Mr Makinde shortly after his inauguration in May last year dissolved the local government councils and in December appointed caretaker committees to run government at that level.
The sacked chairpersons were elected in the May 12, 2018, local government elections conducted by the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
They, however, challenged the decision of the governor in court.
Reports from the 33 local government areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas on Monday showed that the majority of the chairpersons resumed amidst reports of violence in some of the councils.
In Oluyole Local Government Area, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshiloye resumed his office and held a prayer with some of his followers.
The same things were recorded in local government areas such as Ibadan South-East where Bimbo Omiyale resumed work.
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 chairpersons returned to work.
There were reports of violence in Ibadan South-East local government area in Mapo, which made the chairperson, Mr Omiyale, to leave his office immediately.
Mr Abass-Aleshiloye who is the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), insisted that he and his colleagues were ready to cooperate with Mr Makinde to move the state forward at the grassroots level.
Addressing journalists at ALGON office in Ibadan, the state capital on Monday, Mr Abbas-Aleshinloye said they had employed all peaceful and legal options to reclaim their mandates eight months after they were sacked.
He added that their resolve to resume was premised on the Supreme Court judgment which declared that governors have no power to dissolve elected local government councils.
Mr Abass-Aleshinloye urged local government workers to return to their various offices, against the background of the decision announced on Sunday by the workers to stay away to avoid being caught in violence over the development.
The ALGON chairperson also urged the people of the state to remain law-abiding and not to panic. He alleged that all their efforts to meet the governor were rebuffed by Mr Makinde.
Mr Abass-Aleshiloye said it was unfortunate that only the Oyo governor remained adamant over the return of the local government chairpersons in his state, stressing that their colleagues also illegally sacked in Ogun, Ekiti and Kwara had been recalled.
“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 that I left, there was no problem.
“But, we just heard that there were some hoodlums that are going around to unleash violence on the people. But, we assured people that we will be peaceful. By law, I am the chairmen 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 eight months that we have not been in the office, we waited. We are law-abiding people. Makinde has never called us. We must finish our tenures. We have spent one year in the office before he came an we must finish our tenures.”
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