By Seyifunmi Odunuga
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has described as untrue the insinuation that he won’t pay salary arrears of sacked council Chairmen in the state
Instead of asking them to use their term, REPORTERS AT LARGE understands that the Supreme Court had ordered Makinde to pay the council chairmen for illegally sacking them.
Governor Makinde while reacting to the insinuation said such report does not represent the views of his administration, adding that the state government needs further clarification regarding who should be paid salaries.
Delivering a keynote address at the 2021 National Democracy Summit themed: ‘The Future of Democracy in Nigeria’, at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. the governor said the 68 Chairmen that went to court are not recognised under the law, because the number of local government areas belonging to Oyo State in the constitution of the country are listed as 33.
Governor Makinde added that the former council Chairmen might have to approach the apex court again to determine which of them should be paid.
“Let me use this opportunity to talk about a report that I read in a newspaper, saying that the Oyo State Government would not obey the court order about paying the ousted Local Government Chairmen. This is a false report and it is not representative of the views of our administration”, he said.
Governor Makinde added, “Of course, I discussed with the Honourable Attorney General and he asked me not to worry because we have to file affidavit of compliance before the Supreme Court. So, what I said was that we need further clarification regarding who should be paid salaries. The 68 persons who went to court are not recognised under the law, because the number of LG belonging to Oyo State is in the constitution of the country and they are listed as 33″.
” When we go for JAC, they only pay us the money for the 33 LGAs. So, I believe, at the end, when they file the affidavit of compliance, the Supreme Court needs to clarify whether its decision is restricted to paying only the 33, which I will promptly pay.Of course, this is the beauty of democracy; the ability to have civil conversations over even the thorniest issues, without fear. The right to protest injustice, without fear of being thrown into jail. The right to free speech. True democracy guarantees these rights while the citizens also have responsibilities.”
Makinde concluded that once the Supreme Court makes clarification on paying only the 33 sacked chairmen, “I will promptly pay.”