Legal impediments responsible for inability to conduct local government elections – Ajimobi

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This is a speech delivered by Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the inauguration of members of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC)

Protocols.

It is my delight to be here today to perform the swearing in of members of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC). I particularly give thanks to God for the opportunity He has given to us to open a new chapter in the life of our administration.

No doubt, this occasion is highly significant in the history of our dear state. Significant in the sense that it is another signpost to our commitment to cascading democracy into the third tier of government through the conduct of elections into all the 33 local government councils of Oyo State.

Ladies and gentlemen, you will notice that since the inception of our administration in 2011, our government has not been able to conduct local government elections. Consequently, the councils have been manned by transition committee chairmen and members. Even though we have demonstrated our avowed commitment to democratic consolidation through strict adherence to the tenets of democracy and respect for the rule of law, we have, however, been battling with some legal entanglements on the status of OYSIEC which have served as a major impediment to our desire to install grassroots government through the popular mandate of the good people of Oyo State.

Now that we are through with all the legal impediments, the next thing for us is to fulfill our desire and satisfy the yearnings of our people through the conduct of local government elections. Today’s event, which is the swearing in of members of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), is consequent upon the screening of the members and their subsequent clearance by the state House of Assembly.

Let me state here that all the OYSIEC members being inaugurated today have been carefully selected based on their respective pedigrees. I make bold to say that they are people of high integrity and impeccable character, with capacity and capability to midwife an election that will not only be free, fair and credible, but will be generally acceptable to our people.

With today’s inauguration, the conduct of council has therefore left the realm of conjecture. Rather, it has become a reality. And according to a section of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates that elections into local government councils shall take place three months from the day of the inauguration of members of the State electoral body, may I call on the good people of Oyo State to brace up for council elections in September 2016.

Consequently, I like to call on all the political parties that will participate in the election to set machineries in motion for the exercise. Let me once again reiterate my earlier assurance to all the political parties that the election will pass all the known tenets of transparency and credibility.

While I congratulate the new OYSIEC members for being considered worthy for the all-important assignment, I want to tell you that all eyes are on you for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the election. You cannot therefore afford to fail and thus betray the confidence that we have reposed in you. It is my hope that you will put on display all the noticeable attributes which have qualified for this appointment to make a success of the task and thus find yourselves on the right side of history.

I wish you God’s guidance in the discharge of your duties.

Thank you all and God bless.

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