For immediate past chairmen of local governments and local council development areas in Lagos State, these are not really the best of times.
Thegazellenews.com learnt exclusively that their hopes of returning to their various offices as executive secretaries has been dashed, no thanks to the insistence of the state Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, that none of them will return as executive secretary.
When the three year tenure of the former council bosses expired on 29th October, 2014, most of them have high hopes of returning to the office within three days as executive secretaries. The exception being some of them who have higher political aspirations.
However, the tide started changing when Fashola informed party leadership that he was not favourably disposed towards having the ex-council chairmen back as ES. “Fashola favoured the use of civil servants to head the councils but the party leadership did not want this,” sources told thegazellenews.com.
The need to fill the vacuum through the use of executive secretaries arise because the state Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has stated that it would not organise a council election this year with the general election coming in February.
After much persuasion from the Governor’s Advisory Committee (GAC), Fashola agreed to make use of politicians as ES but with the condition that only council bosses who have just finished their first term would be considered and out of the 57 council bosses in Lagos then, only 16 are first timers.
The tide chamged again few hours after the tenure of the council bosses as the Governor allegedly put his feet on the ground that all ex-council bosses, first timers included, should go and rest and give other politicians chance to administer the councils.
Fashola allegedly told members of GAC that the only advantage he would give the first timers was they should be given second term tickets to run when the council election would hold tentatively in April, 2015.
It was a knockout blow for the ex-council bosses all of whom spent chunk of their fund on political patronage during the Ileya festival which took place few weeks before the expiration of their tenure.
What really compounded their plight was the fact that they have not been paid their severance package and other allowances.
Thegazellenews.com’s investigation revealed that most of the former council bosses are really suffering in silence with the demand of their former office still shaping expectations of their people.
“My brother it will be difficult for a former council chairman to give you N10,000 now, except the chairman is not a first timer, yet people still come with their demand since they expect you as a former council chairman to have money to attend to their needs,” one of the ex-council bosses told this medium on Thursday, 13th November, 2014.
Indeed, for now the hard times are here for the former council bosses, they are indeed left in limbo for now.