Why we turned down Makinde’s cash offer, by sacked Oyo council chairmen

Why we turned down Makinde’s cash offer, by sacked Oyo council chairmen

Still savouring their Supreme Court victory, former Oyo State council chairmen on Tuesday explained why they turned down Governor Seyi Makinde’s offer to pay them off.

The sacked council chiefs said the offer was made while the legal battle was on.

The apex court in a verdict on Friday, said the 33 Oyo local government areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas were wrongly dissolved. It ordered that the illegally-sacked chairmen and councillors be paid their outstanding salaries and allowances.

Makinde pledged that his administration would pay the affected council officials for the duration of their tenure that they were sacked in compliance with the judgment.
The governor lashed the dissolved ALGON bosses, noting that last year, he offered them the same option of paying them off.

He said the embattled council bosses rejected the offer and insisted on returning to office to serve out their tenure.

But the council chiefs said it would have amounted to corruption if they had jumped at the offer.

They spoke during a ‘Thank you visit’ to legal icon Chief Niyi Akintola, at his Agodi residence, explaining that they did not take Makinde’s offer so as not to promote corruption in government.

ALGON Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, said the concern of the chairmen was neither the money nor the office, as wrongly claimed by Makinde, but the need to deepen democracy at the grassroots.

He expressed the association’s gratitude to Akintola, who provided them with legal service pro-bono up to the Supreme Court.

Abass-Aleshinloye said: “How can you give me money for the work I didn’t do and I have not done. Governor Makinde wanted to pay us last year when we had not done the work. And it is not legal and at the end of the day, it is all about corruption.
“If we had collected the money, we were encouraging corruption. And anybody can come up later in the year or in the nearest future to challenge us for collecting money for the work we had not done.

“But, now, any proclamation from the Supreme Court is law. This is law. A judgment has been given, the money is due to us and we can collect it now. When he (Makinde) wanted to pay us, the question was, why will he pay us? Why will he even sack us in the first instance when the court said it’s wrong? Why would you do that? If you had done that and you said you want to pay us, that in itself is corruption, so.

Chief Akintola said he decided to give service free to the embattled council bosses as part of his contributions to the development and progress of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Encouraging party members and leaders on the need to be united, Akintola said his commitment to the progressive fold and sacrificial services were some of the things he learnt from a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, the late Chief Bola Ige.

All the affected chairmen from the 33 local government areas and the 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) attended the meeting.

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