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Ogun Communities Clash Over LGDC Referendum

Local Governments are meant to give the grassroots a feeling of governance and that is why it is the government closest to the people.

Most often, especially since the return to civilian rule in 1999, many state governments have tried to further penetrate to the grassroots by establishing Local Government Development Councils (LGDCs). The LGDCs have all the characteristics of the Local Government, except that they are not listed among the         768 Local Government Areas in Nigeria as shown in the second column of Part I of the First Schedule to the 1999 Constitution and six area councils as shown in Part II of that Schedule.

However, a recent referendum conducted by the Ogun State Government for the purpose of creating LGDCs turned violent as suspected political thugs invaded two polling units in Abeokuta North local government area of the state during the exercise and snatched two ballot boxes meant for the referendum.

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It could be recalled that Governor Ibikunle Amosun, had sent a list of 37 proposed LCDAs to the state House of Assembly for approval.

The state assembly, after holding public forum on the proposed LCDAs, however, ordered for a referendum to get the pulse of the people.

But while trying to conduct the referendum for Afon LCDA, youths armed with dangerous weapons went into rampage attacking everyone in their way. The rampage left several people, including several journalists injured.

The returning officer for Obada-Owode-Idi-Ayin ward, Onsa Aliu-Adio, said that two ballot boxes, ballot papers and other electoral materials were snatched away at gun point.

Independent gathered that Imala the youth were angered by the Hon. Jemili Akingbade, the member of the state Assembly representing Imeko-Afon state constituency, who they alleged brought armed youths from Afon.

Efforts to speak with Akingbade failed, as he fled for safety during the rampage.

Some policemen who were drafted to the scene could not curtail the violence as they were helpless.

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Speaking on behalf of the people of Imala,

The Ashipa of Imala, Chief Adetayo Ajayi condemned the decision of the government to hold referendum for Afon in Imala territory.

According to him, the attempt by the people of Afon to hold their referendum in the territory of Abeokuta North is an affront and must be condemned by all.

“Obada belongs to Imala. They did not indicate where Keesan is situated. What Imala is saying is that, it is inconceivable that somebody will move miles away from his territory to another territory and want to hold referendum that is why we say no,” the Ashipa said.