The Ondo State government has cleared the air on the recently created 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), from the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, saying the list will not be made public until the law creating them is passed by the state House of Assembly and gazetted.
In the new local government reform, which has been causing confusion in the state, Akoko has five, Akure and Owo have four LCDAs each while Ondo and Ilaje have three each. Also, Idanre, Ose, Ile-Oluji and Okitipupa have two each while Ifedore, Ese-Odo, Odigbo and Irele have one LCDAs each in the reform.
BusinessDay reports that the move has sparked furore as some residents of the state took to their social media platforms and described it as unjust and not equitably distributed.
But Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the state commissioner for information and orientation, on Monday, while speaking at a media chat organised by the Ondo State Council of NUJ, clarified that the state assembly could still tinker with the LCDAs delineation and areas, hence the need to keep it secret.
According to her, “You know, people will leak information but it’s inappropriate. LCDAs have been approved by the executives, we all took oath of secrecy while taking this job and I think we should express fidelity to the oath we’ve taken. I don’t know who leaked it but I condemn it and I say it is inappropriate.
“We have three arms of government. When the executive has decided, it has to be ratified by the House of Assembly. So, giving it to the press was wrong. That is pre-emptive of the House of Assembly. The House can still tinker with the areas.
“For instance, let’s say Akure South Local Government has been demarcated to three LCDAs, when it gets to the house, you know, there are political interests and other considerations; they might decide to say we can only have two. So, if we have released it, to the public, we will have to go and change it again. That is why it was not given to the press or made public.
“The fact remains that 33 LCDAs were created in addition to the 18 local government areas but it is still subject to debate, ratification and the governor will assent to it. So, the list you are seeing, we completely disown it, it’s inappropriate.”