ALGON, Makinde trade words over Out-of-court settlement

The end of the crises rocking Oyo local government dissolution is not in sight as ALGON and Governor Makinde traded word on Tuesday over Out of court settlement setback. 
Mouthpiece NGR recalled the two parties had last week resolved to make peace through out of court settlement. 
ALGON in a statement issued on Monday disclosed that the Oyo State government has discontinued the proposed out of court settlement which it had initially initiated to resolve the political impasse created by the dissolution of local government council administration in the State.
The statement which was signed by ALGON chairman in the State, Prince Ayodeji Abass- Aleshinloye and Secretary, Pastor Olayinka Jesutoye said ALGON took up the invitation of the State government on resolving the logjam by meeting its representatives on February 8, but was surprised that the State government came unprepared for the meeting as it had no position paper in spite of the position paper presented by the ALGON team.
“Sequel to the invitation by the Oyo State Government to the ALGON, Oyo State Chapter, for amicable resolution of the present political impasse in the State, ALGON representatives met with the Governor’s team on the 8th February, 2020, to find a common ground in resolving the political imbroglio in the State (ALGON had gone with a prepared position paper).
 “ALGON demonstrated willingness in the interest of the good people of Oyo State and to release the grassroots from the cul de sac that the present administration in Oyo State has plunged the state into in the last nine (9) months by submitting its proposal to the Government’s team who was at the meeting surprisingly without a position.
 “It is disheartening to inform the general public that the Government that proposed an amicable settlement treated same with levity and shenanigans and postponed the meeting to the 10th February, 2020 to enable the Government take a position.
“But to our disappointment, the Government made a U-TURN through their representatives and told the ALGON’s team that the governor was  not willing to go on with the said negotiation again without proposing anything to the ALGON.
 “To put the record straight, ALGON demands basically the restoration of all the elected Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and Councilors back to their respective Councils in line with the provision of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees their tenure.
The statement further stated that the State Government does not want peaceful resolution of the issue in Oyo State but rather playing the  ostrich.
“Even while the purported negotiation aborted by Governor SeyiMakinde lasted for a short period, all the Illegal Caretaker Chairmen embarked on looting the public funds unabated at the local government with the connivance of some unscrupulous bank officials and few officials of Local Governments to the  detriment of the people at the grassroots.”
 “ALGON wishes to further reiterate its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the current political crisis in Oyo State and also pledge her commitment to join hands with the Governor to move Oyo State forward provided the Governor has a change of mind.”
Reacting, Governor Makinde through his Chief press secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa declared on Tuesday that members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) were deliberately frustrating the planned out-of-court settlement of the crisis rocking local governments in the state.
Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Special Counsel to the Governor of Oyo State as saying that the ALGON members came to the negotiation table with absolute terms.
He said: “Information available to me indicated that the ALGON members went to the meeting meant to resolve the matter with absolute terms. No party desirous of solutions go to negotiation table with absolute terms.
“Basically, it is in the interest of the entire State to have the matter sorted out and I must say that the government of Oyo State remains committed to observing the rule of law.”
Ayorinde, who stated that the case being held on to by the sacked ALGON members was based on a faulty step taken by the Attorney General of the Federation, averred that the State Government did not in any way frustrate the negotiation.
He said: “The Attorney General of the Federation sought to enforce a Supreme Court judgment that the Oyo State Government was not a party to. He issued a directive that was not grounded in law and in the spirit of federalism, that was resisted, because federalism does not allow the AGF, whose duties are with the Federal Government and at best the Federal Capital Territory to interfere with the legal process in any of the constituent part of the federation.
“And as everybody may know, local governments are under the state government. So, at any point in time, the Oyo State Government did not walk out on any discussion towards resolving the matter.
“The last meeting they held, the Government was well represented by the AG, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and counsel to the State, Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN), who is also a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly. But the sacked ALGON chairmen came with absolute terms, which could be seen as a way of trying to thwart the peace moves. It will be in the interest of all parties to reconvene under a very amiable atmosphere and come to the conclusion on how to move forward.”

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