Ex-Kwara House Leader Wole Oke calls for the creation of 30 LGCDAs
By Bunmi Adedoyin
Leader, Kwara State House of Assembly in the Second Republic, Chief Stephen Wole-Oke has called for the creation of thirty Local Government Council Development Areas out of the existing sixteen Local Government Areas in the State to drive development at the grassroots.
Chief Wole-Oke who is also the Jagunmolu of Shao and Bashorun of Jebba in a statement he personally signed and captioned “A CALL FOR THE CREATION OF THIRTY LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREAS IN KWARA STATE” appealed to the State Governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to as a matter of necessity initiate the necessary process in creating Local Government Council Development Areas.
The APC Stalwart gave the examples of Lagos, Nasarawa, Oyo, Ebonyi States among others that have done so while Ondo State is to follow very soon with the relevant Bill already being processed in the Ondo State House of Assembly.
He traced the history of Local Government creation in Nigeria which he explained started in 1967.
“The history of Kwara State, like all other first generation States in Nigeria, started in 1967 when the former administrative structure of the country, the Regions,was made up of provinces, which were then crafted into Twelve States: six in the northern region and six in the southern regions of East and West. The two Provinces of ILORIN and KABBA were grafted into what was then named WEST CENTRAL STATE. Other States were also so created. Not too long after its creation, the West Central State had its name changed to KWARA STATE with Ilorin ever remaining its HEADQUARTERS. All this was under the military dispensation of the Gowon era” he stressed.
Chief Wole-Oke who is also Member, Kwara State Governor’s Advisory Council added “as at the time of this geographical transformation, Native Authority Administration was the closest form of liaison between the government and the people at the grassroots level. The Kwara State then had three Native Authorities.
The new State was under the Military Governor, Colonel David Bamigboye.
By December 18, 1968, however, a new administrative structure was introduced when the Native Authorities were changed into Divisional Administration and the State restructured into eight Administrative Divisions emerging from the two old Provinces of Ilorin and Kabba constituting the new State of KWARA under Colonel David Bamigboye administration. This was some eight years before the Local Government Reforms of 1976 under Murtala/Obasanjo Military Junta was introduced. This Reform gave birth to Twelve Local Governments in Kwara State, which structure remained until the advent of Civilian Administration of the Second Republic, which began in 1979″.
“Since the era of the civilian rule of the Second Republic; passing through the ephemeral Third Republic; and leading to the current Fourth Republic, the fate of local government administration as an institution, as the third tier of government in Kwara State, in terms of structure has been vacillating. The number of local government areas, to which the former Ilorin province was carved into in 1976, as stated earlier, was eight. Some of these eight local government areas have by today undergone serious transformation, with each now being formed into two or four local government areas, whereas a few of them have been static, no transformation; they have up till today remained their old selves of 1976. These are : IFELODUN, ASA and MORO” he noted.
He speaks further “taking a cue from the universally pronounced purpose of the existence of LOCAL GOVERNMENT as a Third Tier of Government, which is, “to bring the government closer to the people”,
and being the raison d’etre for the introduction of Local Government Reform in Nigeria, in 1976, the local government as an institution with such defined political objectives, has not fulfilled these laudable objectives here in Kwara State. We can all today bear witness to what is happening in other parts of the country where new local governments are being created under the guise of LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREAS in order to beat the constitutional requirements for Creation of Local Government”.
The Jagunmolu of Shao stated that If the primary objective of institutionalising the local government system is to bring governance closer to the people, for the greatest benefits of the greatest number of the people, then Kwara State should not be left behind in Nigeria. As other States are moving ahead with the entrenchment of this third tier
system of governance,, we should not be found wanting in wit, in initiative, in intelligence, in capacity and capability and in idea, we should not be left behind in this race.
In view of the foregoing, he appealed to the State Governor, Mallam Abdulrazaq, to consider the necessity for the creation of Local Government Council Development Areas (LGCDA)in the State as other States have been doing. In this connection,one is inclined to suggest that THIRTY LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREAS (LGCDA) should be created in which the hitherto neglected and static Local Government Areas of IFELODUN, MORO and ASA should be given priority consideration where Ifelodun will be carved into FOUR local government council development areas, while Moro and Asa should each be respectively broken into THREE LGCDAs. Their geographical size and population justify the number of LGCDAs being proposed for the three Local Government Areas.
According to Chief Wole-Oke Judging from the recognised positive dispositions and concern of His Excellency for the welfare and well- being of the people since he began to rule the State, he wants the best for the State; for the survival of the State and for the well-being of the citizens of the State, he would therefore be inclined to consider this proposal. There is no doubt that he will need a strong political will to successfully achieve this laudable objective which eternal consequence will be legendary.
He concluded that in the interest of the State and its citizens, the governor needs to engage in low politics, as well as high politics, respectively in the best interest of the citizens and for the survival of the State. These are the elements, which the matter now at hand demand. May the Almighty God continue to help our Governor and to continue to direct his life’s path in his most commendable service of the people.