Ogun councils seek Osoba's help as Gov. Abiodun hijacks their billions

Governor Abiodun of Ogun State

Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State

Starved of statutory revenue from the Federal and state government for many years, the 20 Ogun local councils have taken their plight to elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Osoba, asking for his intervention.

In a letter, which P.M.NEWS learnt has the support of all chairmen, chairman for Ijebu East council, Wale Adedayo, asked Chief Osoba to convince Governor Dapo Abiodun to allow the Federal statutory allocation reach each of the councils.

In June, the Federal Account Allocation Committee(FAAC) gave Ogun councils N4.9 billion. This rose to N5.6 billion in July. But the money did not reach the councils.

“Since we (Ogun State Local Government Chairmen) got on board in 2021, it has been ZERO Federal Allocation to each local government.

“The 10% of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which the Constitution also stipulated should go to the local governments has not been given since Abiodun got into office”, Adedayo wrote.

The denial of funding to local councils was responsible for the loss of some of the councils in the last general election, as the councils are unable to do any good for their people.

“I am not proud to say that we (Local Government Chairmen) have done very little or NOTHING since we were sworn in because the funds to work are being withheld by Mr. Governor”, Adedayo said.

The hijacking of local councils money by the state intensified under the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

Abiodun during his campaign in 2019 had promised to remedy this illegality. But he never kept to his promise as the councils stay famished.

Read his full letter to Chief Osoba:

Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba,

Abeokuta,

Ogun State.

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Your Excellency,

This letter should have been written about two years ago. But I was wary of what many naive people would say about me. Besides, at your age and given the level of your selfless contributions to the development of our state, and Nigeria in general, we expect you to be taking a well deserved rest at this time. But agba kii wa ni oja, ki ori omo titun wo (we expect the elderly to intervene in correcting wrongs that everyone appears to have overlooked). Ti o ba se bii owe, e fi ori ji mi sir!!!

Your urgent intervention is sorely needed to convince the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, that the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State should be allowed to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution. Since we (Ogun State Local Government Chairmen) got on board in 2021, it has been ZERO Federal Allocation to each local government. The 10% of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which the Constitution also stipulated should go to the local governments has not been given since Abiodun got into office.

Now, the negative consequences of Zero Federal Allocations to Local Government Councils in Ogun State should be clear for all to see. We should not not have lost the last elections in all the places we did during the Governorship and House of Assembly polls IF our local governments were being funded as provided for in the 1999 Constitution. I am not proud to say that we (Local Government Chairmen) have done very little or NOTHING since we were sworn in because the funds to work are being withheld by Mr. Governor.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari assisted the states and Local Governments with what we call palliatives today. That of Ogun State for Local Governments should be about N10 billion. Not a dime got to us. We’ve also heard about Ecological funds and others. It is certain that the current one being packaged by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu may likely follow the same course. And, we are the ones the people will abuse. I am the butt of jokes in my local government right now, with many saying one is incompetent.

Truly, denying local governments their due Federal Allocations in Ogun State began during the Administration of former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And, as it is happening today, it was based on a spurious claim of helping some local governments, who may not be able to fulfill their obligations to the people because of financial challenges. Thus, all the funds are regularly collected into a central purse from where salaries and other dues are paid. Whatever that is left is often claimed by the State Government as debts being paid by the local governments.

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.

In Ijebu East Local Government Area, we are 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! Great Awo provided pipe borne water almost 60 years ago!

Thanks in appreciation of a quick response.

Yours sincerely,

Hon. Wale Adedayo,

Chairman.

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