From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola yesterday swore – in 57 Executive Secretaries to run the affairs of local governments and Local Council Development Areas in the state.
However the Lagos state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the swearing in of the Executive Secretaries as Unconstitutional, Self serving and APC’s ploy to Rig the Lagos Governorship elections in 2015.
Fashola, speaking at the inauguration, said the appointment was to ensure there was no vacuum in service delivery at the grassroots.
He said the each of appointee would run the council with four other officials for a transitional period of three months after which they could get tenure renewals
Fashola said the state had tentatively fixed March for the council elections and that tenure extension would be subject to whether the Independent Electoral Commission(INEC)would work to hold election or not.
The governor urged the new appointee to justify the confidence reposed in them by serving conscientiously and working with other people for the uplift of the people at the grassroots.
He charged to strengthen education at the grassroots and work assiduously to improve primary health care delivery system
“We expect the new appointees to focus on your primary responsibilities at the councils. The first duty of any government is to secure lives and properties.
“Also my mandate to you is to go and intimate all members of your committees, wherever part of Nigeria they come from, whatever religion they profess or language they speak. They are part of us; they are Lagosians and that we must integrate everybody and we must live in peaceful co-existence”, he added.
Fashola urged those who might be aggrieved by the selection of the appointees to work with them, pointing out it was not possible to give responsibilities to every deserving person.
The governor restated the commitment of his administration to service delivery at the grassroots, saying government had done a lot to demonstrate this.
Speaking on behalf of the appointees, Mr Omofunmilewa Adejombo thanked t state government for the appointment, describing it as a golden opportunity to serve.
He assured he and other appointees would do their best to impact positively on the lives of the people at the grassroots
However the PDP in Lagos said that the inglorious action by Governor Fashola at this time confirms Fashola and his APC as always acting for their selfish convenience.
PDP in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Gani Taofik said “ they are not progressives. They are not democrats. They are aiding and abetting destruction of democracy at grassroots. It further exposes them as not democrats and who can run a system down to favour their inordinate ambitions. This ambition is the desperation to win Lagos state in 2015. The executive secretaries have been sworn in at this time to manipulate the elections at their domains for APC. They will fail and this time Lagosians will vote against APC for depriving them democratic local councils”
The PDP wondered why Fashola a Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria would promote a local government system that is a violation of section 7 of the Constitution, which is also a pending subject of litigation in the Lagos High Court.