The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has berated Governor Seyi Makinde over his refusal to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the payment of entitlements of all the local government council officials who were illegally sacked from office in 2019 warning that Nigerians would not watch him (Makinde) become a full despot in the nation’s democratic space.
Gov. Makinde, on his first day in office in May 2019, sacked all the local government council officials elected during the tenure of his predecessor, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and this resulted in litigation up till the Apex Court where the governor was indicted and mandated to pay his victims all their entitlement for the remaining two years they were denied out of their three-year tenure.
In a statement issued on Monday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC frowned at the decision of Gov. Makinde to resort to intimidation and blackmail of the deprived Chairmen and councillors rather than comply with the judgement of the courts describing the development as disturbing, embarrassing and unbecoming of any leader in a democratic setting.
“It beats the imagination of many pundits and political watchers across the globe that a governor who swore to an oath to defend the nation’s constitution but now turned out to be the one desecrating the sacred document. As a matter of fact, Gov. Makinde left no one in doubt of his mission to rule with iron hand and total disregard to the rule of law when he ordered the sack of elected council officials on his first day in office without any recourse to the law of the land.
“But rather than employ confrontation and violence, his victims took their case to the lower court where their prayers for reinstatement were expressly granted. The judgment of the Federal High Court was appealed by the state government up to the Apex Court and at every stage, Gov. Makinde lost out since the law is so apt on the administration of all the three tiers of government without one being allowed to swallow or strangulate the other.
“In the history of the nation’s democracy, there has been a time that a governor would discountenance the verdict of the Supreme Court and this call the bluff of the judiciary brazenly as Gov. Makinde is doing at the moment. The governor has not only defied the court, he has also made it an habit to throw tantrums and jibes at the court in the public over a verdict that went against him. Reports have it that about 27 of the sacked officials died recently as they could not get money to treat one ailment or the other.
“To save the society from dire consequences of Gov. Makinde’s recklessness and abuse of power, the onus now lies on President Bola Tinubu, the National Assembly, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and other relevant authorities to stop Gov. Makinde from making a mockery of the judiciary as his current attitude poses a grave danger to the nation’s democracy. When a governor displays brazen disregard to the Supreme Court and disrespect for the entire judiciary, he is laying a bad precedent and this has to be checked without further delay as the issue goes beyond APC versus PDP.” Oyo APC stated.