n an astonishing display of contrition, Ogun State’s Council Chairmen staged an extraordinary act of humility on Tuesday, prostrating and imploring Governor Dapo Abiodun for clemency.
This remarkable gesture comes in the wake of a petition filed by one of their own, leveling allegations of Governor Abiodun’s purported diversion of statutory allocations destined for the local councils.
The Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, stood at the forefront of the accusations, claiming that the governor had withheld vital funds earmarked for local government operations.
He lamented the dire consequences of this alleged misallocation, which had hindered critical projects over the past two years. Adedayo urgently called upon former Governor Olusegun Osoba Osoba to intercede and persuade Abiodun to adhere to the constitutionally mandated allocation of federal funds to local governments.
Adedayo, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) like Governor Abiodun, escalated the situation further by lodging complaints with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), seeking a probe into the alleged misappropriation of local government finances.
He vehemently contended that not a single cent of federal allocation had reached local government coffers in the preceding two years.
Drawing attention to a disturbing pattern, Adedayo’s petitions highlighted how the state government had wrested control of revenue sources that rightfully belonged to local governments.
Areas such as motor parks, primary school administration, and other income streams had been centralized under state governance, leaving local governments grappling for resources.
The dire state of infrastructure and essential services in Ijebu East Local Government Area underscored the urgency of the situation.
Adedayo passionately appealed for assistance in rectifying this imbalance.
Governor Abiodun’s office refuted these allegations in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran.
Abiodun firmly asserted that he had adhered to his responsibility of managing local government funds within the bounds of the constitution.
He clarified that these funds were managed by the Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC), a constitutionally sanctioned entity ensuring the appropriate distribution of funds to local governments.
However, the narrative took a sudden and dramatic twist as the Council Chairmen, led by the ALGON Chairman, Babatunde Emilola-Gazal, staged an unprecedented act of humility.
Converging on the governor’s office in Abeokuta, the group beseeched Governor Abiodun for forgiveness.
In a heart-rending moment, Emilola-Gazal extended a sincere apology on behalf of his colleagues, with a special focus on Wale Adedayo, the catalyst of the allegations.
As a symbol of their remorse, the chairmen collectively prostrated themselves before the governor.
Governor Abiodun, for his part, expressed his commitment to his gubernatorial duties and defended the integrity of his actions. He underscored the established role of JAAC in managing local government funds and ensuring their optimal utilization.
This riveting turn of events has captivated public attention, shedding light on a contentious issue that has pitted local governments against the state administration.
The symbolic display of humility by the council chairmen has injected an unexpected layer of drama into an already tense narrative, leaving citizens and observers alike pondering the future trajectory of this intricate saga.