The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, warned baales who are yet to register with the state government to desist from parading themselves as legitimate or face the consequences.
Governor Abiodun, who made this known during the 5th Oko Ilu Day Celebration of the Ogun State Council of Baales, held in Abeokuta, noted that his administration would continue to see those who are yet to register as illegitimate baales.
” I heard there are 1,700 Baales that are registered in the state. I also heard that there are still over 1,700 yet to be registered. I want to implore those who are yet to register to do so, as our administration will see them as illegitimate Baales, let them go and meet their prescribed authorities so they can also become legitimate Baales,” he said.
Abiodun also disclosed that his administration would discuss with the Council of Traditional Rulers in the state the need to have a payment structure for baales in the state.
He added that his administration would also look at a way of funding the traditional council and ensure that a particular percentage of the funding is appropriated towards baales in the state.
He, however, charged the Council of Baales to educate their subjects on the need to collect their Permanent Voter’s Card.
Abiodun further urged them not to allow any form of thuggery within their environments.
“We are preparing for the 2023 general election; you are the closest to the grassroots, help us to urge our people to get their permanent voter’s cards; most of our permanent voter’s cards are still with the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“If you don’t have your permanent voter’s cards, you can’t vote. If you are happy with what we are doing, it is with your permanent voter’s card you can tell us you appreciate us. Therefore, tell your people to get their PVCs.
“We have lowered the political temperature. We have been very tolerant of everyone and every political party because that is who we are in Ogun State. Don’t give any room to thugs in your various communities, don’t allow your children to be used as thugs during the election, because anyone that is involved in thuggery will be dealt with,” the governor submitted.
While calling on the Council of Baale’s to support his second-term ambition, Abiodun said that they shouldn’t hand the state over to anyone who has nothing to offer
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ganiyu Hamzat, while speaking on the issue of multiple baales in the state, noted that the issue, which had led to a pocket of tension, thereby making life unbearable for the law-abiding citizens of the state, had led to the placing on hold of installation of Baales in the state.
Hamzat, while noting that the status and image of Baales should be sacred, disclosed that the report often received by the state government on the nefarious activities of some Baales had become a blemish in the garment of many other Baales who are diligently serving the people.
The commissioner urged the Baales to continue to play their part by sensitizing the people at the grassroots about their civic responsibilities of communal vigilance, political participation and social safety.
In his remarks, the president of Ogun State Council of Baales, Tunji Falola, noted that the administration of Governor Abiodun in the last three and half years has been of good governance, pointing out that that administration pays apt attention to the yearnings of its citizens.
Falola, while assuring the governor of the council’s loyalty and commitment towards the actualization of his second term bid, declared that they were happy with his administration.
He described the relationship that exists between the Baales and the traditional rulers in the state as strong, noting that the insinuations that they were rubbing shoulders with traditional rulers in some communities in the state were unfounded rumours.