Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has said his government is ready to conduct elections into the 18 local government areas of the state this year. This resolve is coming six years after his administration assumed office in the state.
Governor Mimiko upon assumption of office had headed for an Akure High Court where he sought for the dissolution of the 18 councils on the grounds that the former administration of late Governor Olusegun Agagu was restrained from conducting the council election on December 15, 2007.
Justice Nelson Adeyanju of the court had ruled that the election that brought the council bosses into office was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
Following the court order, Mimiko dissolved the councils and constituted caretaker committees for the 18 local governments.
But speaking during the presentation of the 2015 budget to the state’s House of Assembly in Akure, the state capital, Mimiko said he had allocated the sum of N800million for the conduct of the election and sought the lawmakers’ approval for the election.
He described a situation whereby his administration had not been able to conduct local government council elections in the state in the past six years as unfortunate.
“It is rather unfortunate that we have not been able to conduct local government elections in the state in the past years and this is not unconnected with legal encumbrances placed on our path.
“It is, however, gladdening to note that as a result of the recent political re-alignments in the state, all the legal impediments are being amicably resolved; the horizon has become clear that local government election will be a joyous reality this year.
“Hence, a sum of Eight Hundred Million Naira has been provided for the conduct of local government election this year,” he said.
But the question is -why are most governors content with appointing caretaker committees to run the local governments instead of providing the enabling atmosphere for the emergence of democratically elected chairmen and councillors as provided for in the constitution?