16th September, 2011
Seventeen traditional rulers in Lekki, including Oba Ganiu Adegbesan of Ise land and Oba Laizim Ogunbekun of Lekki have appealed to the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lagos chapter, led by Otunba Henry Ajomale to disqualify the incumbent Chairman of Lekki Local Council Development Area, Mr. Ganiyu Olaiya Raheem, from seeking re-election.
In a petition addressed to Ajomale, the traditional rulers who said they were acting on behalf of their people, said they were tired of Mr. Raheemâ€™s method of governance.
The petitioners enumerated the many â€˜sinsâ€™ of Raheem to include misappropriation of council funds, lack of respect for the electorate and absenteeism.
They accused Raheem of withdrawing N55 million from the bank between 5 and 6 September. They alleged further that Raheem met N197 million in the councilâ€™s account when he took over as chairman of the LCDA following the removal of the former chairman, Mr. Tajudeen Adebola Ajayi, and squandered everything.
â€œIt is rather sad to note with unimaginable bewilderment (sic) that Mr. Ganiyu Olaiya Raheem, having appropriated this huge sum of public fund, collected on the aggregate the sum of N798 million as at the end of July 2011.
â€œAllowing for a caveat of paying the non-pensionable staff allowances and the running cost of the council monthly, every member of the Lekki Local Council Development Area was braising up with expectation that meaningful development projects would be embarked upon by the chairman, but all to no avail.
â€œIndeed the community members thought that he would at the end of August, having collected a state government cheque of N74 million, have recourse to execute projects but he failed. After the state had deducted the salary of the pensionable staff paid monthly through the state pay roll oracle, the LCDA chairman found it difficult to pay the non-pensionable staff their salaries that is already in deficit for two months,â€ the petitioners stated.
Highlighting further mis-governance by the incumbent, the petitioners stated that there were no drugs and vaccines in the health centres in the area just as there are no single infrastructure put in place by the chairman.
â€œWe are also aware that his predecessor, Mr. T.A. Ajayi erected and completed the new secretariat building as at July 2010, yet the incumbent could not afford to furnish the offices in the secretariat complex with chairs and tables, ceiling fans, air-conditioners and indeed no file cabinets for effective record keeping.
â€œAll these inadequacies on his part have turned the council into a ghost institution as most workers would not report for duty daily because there are no office chairs and tables to work on while the chairman has abandoned the council secretariat, thus making his house in Epe the new secretariat for the running of the council affairs,â€ they added.
Attempts to speak with Raheem at the councilâ€™s secretariat proved unsuccessful as the place was locked up while protesting residents carried placards with various inscriptions to express their grievances against his re-election.
A female staff of the council informed P.M.NEWS she has not received salary for two months and that the council chairman has not been seen in the secretariat for months.
She confirmed that there were no seats in the offices of the council and that electricity had been cut off by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc in the past six months due to unpaid debt.