LG Funds Saga: Drama As Ogun Council Chairmen Bow, Plead to Governor Abiodun - oguncitynews


Wednesday 30 August 2023

LG Funds Saga: Drama As Ogun Council Chairmen Bow, Plead to Governor Abiodun

By Yusuf Olatunji 

On Tuesday night, Local Government Chairmen in Ogun State, who previously accused Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun of misappropriating LG allocation, took a dramatic step by prostrating and earnestly pleading for his forgiveness

The council chairmen led by the ALGON Chairman, Babatunde Emilola-Gazal, stormed the governor’s office in Abeokuta, and begged for forgiveness.

A short clip of the meeting which has gone viral showed the ALGON begging for forgiveness on behalf of his colleagues including Wale Adedayo, who wrote the petition.

Gazal said, “Your Excellency, we have come here to beg you as a father that you are, as a father of all in the state, we want you to forgive us.

“Your Excellency, if you don’t forgive us, who do we run to? So, on behalf of all of us, I am tendering this apology and in particular, on behalf of Wale Adedayo,” Emilola-Gazal said, and subsequent prostrated alongside others, before the governor.

Responding, Gov. Abiodun in his remarks boasted that he had always carried out his responsibilities as the governor with “every sincerity of purpose.”

Recall that, the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, had accused the governor of withholding the LGs’ allocations.

Adedayo lamented that LG chairmen had been unable to execute projects in the last two years, and asked former Governor Olusegun Osoba to urgently wade in, and convince Abiodun to allow “the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution.

The Council boss also petitioned the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), calling for the investigation of the governor over alleged diversion of local government funds.

According to him, Abiodun has not paid a dime to Local government accounts as Federal allocation in the last two years.

Adedayo in the petition, dated 28th August, 2023 dated also accused the governor of denying the local government chairmen of the Ecological fund and other entitlements due to them.

Part of the petition reads: “Revenue sources, which the local governments should benefit from have mostly been taken over by the State Government. Motor Parks and attendant dues which should go to each local government are being centrally managed by the State Government. Primary school administration and control have been taken over too. There are many others. But, what I crave is for you to assist in helping our people. Why have they taken over revenue sources of the local government? How do they want the grassroots to breathe?

“In Ijebu East Local Government Area, we a complete rural section. Our people need roads, especially in the interior. They need water. The Health Centres are nothing to write home about. The primary schools are something else. It is a crying shame that, in 2023 some of our people still depend on water from the stream to drink!

“Be assured that I am readily available to answer any question about what I have written here,” he said.

But the governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, on Tuesday, said he had never tampered with local government funds.

He wondered how adding to the funds allocated to the local councils to enable them to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds.

Abiodun said that funds meant for local governments in the state are being handled by the constitutionally recognized Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC).

The governor said that JAAC members ensure that the third tier of government gets the required allocations for optimal performance.

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