by Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun on Saturday assured that his administration will continue to respect the autonomy of the local government and provide necessary support to carry out their constitutional responsibilities as the third tier of government.
The governor disclosed this, shortly after casting his vote at the Ita-Osanyin, ward 3, unit 2 in Iperu in Ikenne local government area of the State.
Abiodun, who arrived his polling unit at exactly 11.43am and went straight to cast his vote, said his administration would ensure that local government chairmen are given the opportunity to administer their councils as enshrined in the constitution when they assume office.
The governor who berated the previous administration in the state for hijacking local government administration, vowed to uphold the constitution and not interfere in the
Abiodun said, “My administration will ensure that the local government chairmen are given the opportunity to administer over their local government as enshrined in the constitution.
“I will not want to speak about what happened before I assumed office, but I believe that what currently obtained at the local government level is night and day compared to what happened before I assumed office and that is why you can see the evidences and the testimonials of what the local government caretaker committees have achieved in their 18 to 20 months in office because we have ensured that there is execution of projects which are funded in line with the constitution.
“We will respect the autonomy of the local government in line with what we at the Governors’ Forum have decided to do and how we decided to implement it.
“I believe that they (local government) are a tier of government that should be given a free hand to run their show. They are the closest administrative political office, they are closer to the grassroots, they are able to make that impact in the grassroots and they are much closer than any of us.
“This administration will give all the needed support to our local government councils to ensure that they function in line with the constitution”.
Abiodun, who commended the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) for putting necessary machineries in place to ensure a hitch free election, mocked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for withdrawing from the election, saying “you cannot be boycotting a process that you are not even a participant in”.
He said “I’m not aware of any party boycotting this election. I hear of a purported or supposed boycott and spoke to our team to find out exactly what was going on.
“What apparently has happened is that one or two parties are factionalised and I believe that the legitimate factions of these other parties were duly recognised by OGSIEC and what I was made to understand was that the party that was not recognised headed to the court and the case was in court until I believe on Thursday and from what I understand, the court dismissed the suit that was challenging the OGSIEC ,accepting the other faction and following that, I think perhaps, to save face the faction that lost out now decided to boycott.
“You cannot be boycotting a process that you are not even a participant in, so I didn’t understand that, but really, I’m not a lawyer. I’m not speaking for OGSIEC. I’m not speaking on behalf of any party. I can only speak on behalf of my party and my administration. I believe OGSIEC has done everything within their power, within their mandate to be very transparent and to ensure that the playing field is as level as it should be for every single party that expressed desire to be part of this election.”