Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Tuesday received the report of the Committee on the Creation of additional Local Government Areas in the state, stressing the commitment of his administration to effect the creation of additional councils in response to the yearnings of the people.
The Governor while receiving the report at the Exco Chamber said his administration will immediately set up a White Paper Committee which will prepare the white paper that will enable the State Independent Electoral Commission carry out a referendum in the affected council areas.
Governor Fayemi who had five months ago set up the Council creation Committee stated that government will strictly adhere to the provision of the laws on the creation of new council areas, adding that this accounted for the decision to subject the report to State Executive Council pronouncement and other legal processes.
Fayemi said: “Let me say that given the importance this government has placed on the effort of the committee, we are going to set the ball rolling immediately on the report by establishing within the next 24 hours a white paper committee to produce a white paper on the recommendations of the committee. I haven’t had the privilege of even an advanced copy of this report so I don’t know what is there of proposed by the committee.
“The report will be made available to the State Executive Council with a view to pronouncing on it and taking the next step in law which I believe is a referendum by the State Electoral Commission and a resolution of approval by the State a House of Assembly before government then takes a full and final decision on where the councils will be,” he said.
The Governor, who restated that the council creation is not a political gimmick, said this was a genuine yearning from the people who had consistently tabled their request for new council areas.
Dr Fayemi added that it was noteworthy that the communities requesting for council areas had consensus decision on the citing of the council headquarters; saying that he did not want anything that would cause dissension among the various communities in the state.
He said: “One word very critical in what the chairman said in listing the criteria is consensus of the communities where these requests have emanated from. I think at the end of the day, whatever we do it will not be with a view to creating dissension within the ranks of our communities. What will be the most unique critical factor without any detriment to other factors will unequivocal consensus within the communities that have come together to make a we quest for local government creation”.
He commended the committee for their dedication to duty saying that their hardwork is for the development of the state.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Justice Akin Ajakaye (rtd) said the committee received 72 memoranda from 15 local governments with exception to Emure local government and painstakingly analysed and verified the memoranda.
Ajakaye said a public hearing was held where all communities which sent memo defended their proposals and the committee afterwards gave very “detailed objective considerations to the requests of all communities”.
He disclosed that one of the factors considered was not placing a senior traditional ruler under his lower counterpart in the location of headquarters for the proposed councils.