Ondo moves to create 33 new LCDAs, opposition kicks

The Ondo State government has forwarded a bill to create 33 new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to the state House of Assembly, Peoples Gazette has learnt. 

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Ondo government spokeswoman, stated at the weekend that the creation of the new LCDAs was approved by the state executive council (SEC) during its recent weekly meeting.

“The enabling law had been sent to the State House of Assembly for enactment,” she told The Gazette in a phone chat. 

She added that the LCDAS’s names would be made public when the assembly passes the bill for their creation.

Ondo has 18 local government areas (LGAs). If passed into law, the number of councils in Ondo would be 51. 

Charles Titiloye, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo, had noted that the LCDAs if approved by the lawmakers, would perform the same function as the existing 18 LGAs in the state. 

Mr Titiloye explained that this followed the recommendation of the committee on LCDAs headed by Lanke Odogiyan.

“The procedure for local government creation will not be complete without an enabling law. And council received the proposed bill for the establishment of the 33 LCDA,” he said. 

However, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faulted the move on the basis that the existing LGAs have been powerless and have no autonomy. 

Speaking on Sunday, the chairman of the SDP, Stephen Adewale, noted that creating the LCDAs would be “worse”, especially when the government still milk the resources meant for the existing LGAs.

“The situation of the existing LGAs is pathetic enough. In a clime where the state government continues to milk the resources meant for the existing 18 LGAs, where their leadership are toothless and is at the mercy of the state government, no government would be closer to the people if the trends continue and if local governments are not allowed to operate freely.

“What will now happen to the newly proposed 33 LCDAs if the government is already notorious for starving the current 18 LGs of the funds they constitutionally deserve? Obviously, theirs could be worse,” he said. 

Similarly, the PDP said the proposed creation of the LCDAs was ill-advised, as the existing LGAs are not adequately funded.

“The state government has not made public the details of the 33 newly created LCDAs, but even at that, the move, as far as I am concerned, is ill-advised,” said Kennedy Peretei, the spokesperson for the PDP in Ondo.

“When responsive state governments are reeling out palliatives to cushion the hardship induced by the Tinubu-led APC government, somebody is talking about creating LCDAs that they don’t have the funds to operate; it is simply laughable,” Mr Peretei said in a chat.

In 2019, Mr Akeredolu asked communities in the state to submit memoranda for creating Local Government Development Areas (LCDAs).

The governor promised to create an LCDA and set up a committee to accept memoranda from communities seeking local governments or LCDAs.