By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
A Non governmental Organization, Democracy Vanguard, has asked Government of Osun state to begin the process of conducting local government election with immediate effect.
The group in a press statement signed by its State Coordinator, Comrade Olowu Emmanuel, and made available to CityMirrorNews in Osogbo on Monday said if the government fails to do the needful, it would not hesitate to mobilise concerned citizens against the government.
“The Osun State Government, through the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) should immediately begin the process of conducting a credible local government election in the state without delay if otherwise we will not hesitate to begin a massive mobilization of the electorate, civil society organizations, political parties and other stakeholders to use every legally available means of ensuring that the state government does the needful.
“It is on the above premise and In view of the failure of the Gboyega Oyetola led administration in Osun to organize elections into the local councils of the state, that have compelled us to come out openly and to state it clearly that it is an illegal act for any state government to jettison the organization of local government election as such act is an aberration to the letters of our Constitution, Section 7, which recognizes that local government councils must be democratically run through elected representatives. ”
“The purpose for the creation of local government councils is to ensure that governance gets to the grassroots in order to foster development and ensure that the dividend of democracy gets to the grassroots. The case of Osun cannot be different.
“Most at times, state governments exercise illegal power to upturn the local government electoral process to suit their interest and such act grants them the illegal power to subdue the powers of the council leaders and take over the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the local governments and invariably making council leaders, ineffective, jobless and useless as we are currently witnessing in Osun.
“As an organization which one of its focus is ensuring that Nigerians are well mobilized to fully participate in the electoral process, we posit that jettisoning the conducting of local government election, or the constitution of a non elected caretaker committee is injurious to our nascent democracy and alien to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the purpose of emphasis, the beauty of any democracy is popular participation and if by any political reason, a state government chooses to use its executive, legislative or judicial power to impose members of their political parties into local government councils as leaders or prevent the conduct of democratic elections, it’s an illegal act and we in the Democracy Vanguard are ready to campaign against such illegality and to mobilize the electorate to demand a just electoral process across all levels of government in Osun in particular and Nigeria at large.
“We, therefore, stand on the judgment of the Supreme Court recently delivered in the case of Oyo State Government versus Oyo State branch of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) to remind Osun State Government under the leadership of Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola that since Friday 5th of February 2021,(Over three months now), all local government councils in Osun state have no duly elected leadership and the government through the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) has not come out to tell political parties and the electorate when local government elections will hold in the state.
“We, therefore, state that the organization of local government election In Osun state is non-negotiable and we are set to campaign for democratization of local government through popular, credible free and fair elections in line with the spirit of the 1999 constitution (as amended).”
CityMirrorNews reports that Democracy Vanguard is a non – government, non-partisan organization founded to promote democracy, democratic culture, and value, topmost of which is the mobilization for popular participation in governance, defense of the sanctity of the electoral process, and free expression of the inalienable legitimate right of Nigerians to freely choose their leaders in free, fear and credible elections.