Osun State government has declared Thursday and Friday (January 25, and 26) as public holiday in order to enable civil servants in the state participate in the January 27 Local Government election.
Earlier, some election observers under the aegis of Coalition of Independent Civil Society Groups comprising of Awareness for Democracy and Diplomacy, Better Community Life Initiative and Africa Initiative for Sustainable and Positive Development had recommended to the Governor Aregbesola that Friday be declared public holiday.
It’s 10 years after local government elections were conducted in the state, Chairman of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Chief Segun Oladitan, in 2017 attributed the long delay to legal encumbrances.
Just as teachers in state were celebrating the two-day public holiday, news filtered in from a Federal High Court, Abuja, that the election should be put on hold, but the state government is unperturbed by the court declaration.
Aregbesola pays arrears and full salaries of LG caretaker chairmen
Reliable sources from Osogbo, Oriade, Orolu LGs said all the outstanding salaries of caretaker chairman, who are also contestants in Saturday election have been paid.
The source said it’s to boost their financial strength in campaigning ahead of the election, which has been criticized by political critics.
“Why is the governor just conducting local government election when he has less than a year to spend in office,” they asked.
Virtually all the 36 states in Nigeria have technically killed the administration of local government.
State governors unilaterally appoint and fire chairmen of local governments in their respective state, even when court says otherwise.
The 2-day public holiday has been seen as political, “it’s to make sure the court ruling isn’t served on the state government. Government offices won’t be opening by Thursday when the ruling is expected to be served,” a political commentator said Wednesday.
As expected the ruling party is expected to win in all the 30 local governments in Osun on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
However, it’s likely the LG chairmen would be sacked if an opposition wins in the 2018 Osun Governorship Election.