Mobilizing for a generational change

Senator justifies Osun council reforms

By Leke Salaudeen

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, has lashed out at  a member of the House of Representatives, Oluwole Oke for criticising Osun Local Government reforms.

Bashiru said it was out of ignorance.

The senator said the motive of the lawmaker in raising the issue now is suspect because the local government law has been operational more than two years ago. He insists  that Oke’s comment has absolutely depicted ignorance of the subject matter.

Oke, who represents Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency (Osun) had claimed in a statement that the Osun Local Government Law of 2015 which created new local government areas and entrenched parliamentary system of governance in local government was inconsistent with the provision of the 1999 Constitution .

But Bashiru, who was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under the administration of Rauf Aregbesola that carried out the reform said: “Oke’s ludicrous claim that the law is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution is laughable.”

He said: “While the supremacy of the Constitution as demonstrated in Section 1(3) is not in contention, it has to be demonstrated that the law that established the parliamentary system of governance in the local councils of the State of Osun is consistent with any provision of the constitution.

“Section 7(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides that:  the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under  is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the government of every state shall, subject to section of this constitution , ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions  of such council.

“The person authorised by law to prescribe the area over which a local government council  may exercise authority that shall define such area clearly as practicable; ensure that in defining such area regard is paid to the common interest of the community in the area, traditional association of the community and administrative convenience.”

Bashiru said it was on the basis of these provisions that the Aregbesola administration carried out the local government reform.

“The Osun State Government then under the dynamic leadership of  Rauf Aregbesola , a man that is renowned for thoroughness and not given to delusional outbursts, having carefully dissected the provisions of the Constitution and being roundly assured by the retinue of his well-grounded advisers came up with the State of Osun Local Government Areas (Creation and Administration) Law, 205 which established 31 new Local Government Areas , Three Area Councils and two Administrative offices.”

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