The Oyo State Chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has announced a stay-at -home order to its members following the protracted crisis rocking local government administration in the state.
This is coming as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed the Commissioner of Police in Oyo state, Shina Olukolu, to take actions to implement the legal opinion of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on the sacked local government chairmen in the state.
The IG in a letter addressed to Ayodeji Abass-Aleshiloye, Chairman of the dissolved Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), urged the sacked ALGON Chairman to liaise with the CP to facilitate smooth take-over of the Local Government Areas in the state.
The IG’s letter was signed by the Principal Staff Officer to the Inspector General of Police, DCP Idowu Owohunwa.
The letter entitled “Re: Federal Government Order to Governor Seyi Makinde to Reverse Sack of Local Government/ Local Council Development Areas Chairmen in Oyo State- Result for Police Protection” is dated 23rd January 2020.
The directive takes effect from January 27, 2020 and affects all NULGE members in the local governments and local council development areas across the state.
In a resolution signed by State Secretary of the union, Chucks M. Nwankwo, dated 25 January, 2020 and made available to newsmen in Ibadan after an emergency meeting of the State Executive Committee (SEC) of NULGE stated that the decision became imperative following the posturing of Alesinloye Abass, directing dissolved members of ALGON to return to the local governments as duly elected chairmen of councils despite their sack and the appointment of 68 caretaker chairmen by the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde.
The NULGE leadership, in the resolution read to newsmen after the emergency SEC and State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting held at its State Secretariat, directed all NULGE members in all the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas to stay away from work until the issue of local government leadership is resolved.
The NULGE leadership explained that it took the position to prevent its members from becoming victims of violence and uncertainties in the coming days.
The body, rising from an emergency meeting on Saturday, hinged its directive on the rising tension and state of uncertainty in the State, noting that its members should stay at home to avoid being caught up in the tension and impending crisis that could follow attempts to take over the local governments by the dissolved local government chairmen.
“This is to bring to the notice of our members i.e. workers in the Local Government Service of Oyo State, the decision of an emergency State Executive Council (SEC) meeting held today, 25 January 2020 on the unfolding leadership feud in the local governments of Oyo State.
“Arising from the meeting, Local Government workers are hereby directed to stay away from work, effective from Monday January 27, 2020 until further notice. All offices and adjoining entrances should be under lock and key.
“Our decision is to foster peace and the assurance of safety and security in the workplace. This step is in the interest of our members as well as that of the general public and the good people of Oyo State.”
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, NULGE president, Oyo State chapter, Bayo Titilola-Sodo, said the decision that local government workers should stay at home was in the interest of their members and for their safety.
He said: “We reviewed the situation on ground as it unfolded so far and the probable outcomes of the various grandstanding from the various quarters.
“We believed that it is in the best interest of our members to stay away from work before they turn our offices to a battle ground.
“The situation as it concerns us is that we are also getting the news from the media and social media where sometimes letters are published and we don’t know their authenticity.
“But we have reasons to be apprehensive about the security of our members should they go to work and have these people taking on one another.
“In fact, we have had a few cases some months ago when one party decided to go to the office relying on one authority or the other while another party was still occupying same office. And this caused altercations, as some of our people were beaten.
“So, today, we held a meeting in order to safeguard the lives and security of our people and tell them to stay away from all the offices until the weather is clearer, and we know exactly who we are working with.”
Titilola-Sodo added that the decision would give NULGE the opportunity to see the parties involved resolved the matter between themselves, saying only a positive resolution could make their members return to work.
According to him, until our security is guaranteed in our places of work, no member of NULGE in Oyo State will be at their place of work by Monday morning until further notice. This will be until the unclear situation is cleared, until our security and safety are guaranteed in our places of work.