Councillors from across local governments of Ogun State, Thursday barricaded the entrance to the State House of Assembly in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta protesting the resolution of the Assembly suspending all elective office holders across the local governments.
The Councillors who had thronged the assembly complex as early as 8am prevented lawmakers and staff of the Assembly from gaining entrance into the complex.
They were armed with placard bearing various inscriptions like ‘The lawmakers are the laebrakers’, ‘Respect Supreme court on local government tenure’, ‘OGHA led by Rt. Hon Suraj Adekunbi, don’t rubbish Dapo Abiodun’s administration through your selfishness’, amongst others.
The Speaker of the House, Suraj Isola Adekunbi who caught the protesters unaware gained entrance into the complex but the protesters charged at his convoy hauling abuses at him for presiding over their suspension.
The Speaker who later alighted from his vehicle, told the Counselors to find a better way to address their agitations advising that calling him names would not solve any problem.
The leader of the protesters, Azeez Oloyede from Abeokuta South East Local Council Development Authority who addressed the Speaker said they were surprised at the position of the Assembly at a time when the issue of local government autonomy was being addressed.
On the allegation of financial misappropriation, Azeez told the Speaker that they have not received any correspondence to the effect of any allegation against the administration of the local government before the decision was taken.
Azeez said they disregarded the rumour, since no letter has been addressed to them, only for them to be attacked by career officers at the local government governments when attempts were made to resume their offices.
He said, “We heard the rumour that we are suspended, why is it that when the issue of local government autonomy is being addressed is when you’re suspending us from office?
“Till this moment there’s no allegation against us and before we can’t be suspended is there any allegation against us? Not at all. We don’t even believe that because up till now, we have not received any letter to that effect and when we get to our various offices, we are being harassed by local government workers and career officers.
“As far as we are concerned, there’s nothing like suspension. What is our offence that warrant this kind of rumour that we, the legislators and Chairmen, are suspended?”
The Speaker who later addressed the press said he was surprised to see the protesters at the Assembly complex since they have not received any correspondence to the effect of their suspension.
Adekunbi said the Assembly acted withing its own power and that the Councillors should wait for communication from the executive arm of the government.
The Speaker insisted that the Assembly had received a lot of petitions against the administration of local governments in the state and that he had brought same unofficially to the notice of the Chairmen.
On why the petitions were not investigated before the suspension, the Speaker said it doesn’t matter which one comes first adding that the development was as a result of exigencies adding that the suspension was throughtly debated by the members of the House before the decision was taken.
The Assembly had, last week, passed a resolution suspending and inviting all the local governments officials in the state over allegation of financial misappropriation by the officials.
The executive arm of the government has subsequently ordered the freezing of accounts of the local government pending the conclusion of the investigation by the House of Assembly.