Local Government chairmen in Ogun State on Tuesday prostrated before Governor Dapo Abiodun, seeking forgiveness over a comment made by their Ijebu East counterpart, Wale Adedayo, that Abiodun had diverted funds meant for the councils.
Adedayo had written a letter to former Governor Olusegun Osoba and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the manners in which local government funds were being spent.
Adedayo had claimed that the 20 local governments in Ogun State were being run on zero allocation due to the joint account being operated by the State and local governments.
According to him, the development had prevented local government chairmen from performing their functions to people at the grassroots.
He alleged that the bail-out funds and Ecological funds meant for the councils did not get to them, but were diverted by Governor Abiodun.
However, at a meeting held with all the council chairmen yesterday, apologies were tendered to the governor.
In a video released by the governor’s media team, the Chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government, Emilola Gazal, while speaking on behalf of his colleagues, pleaded with Abiodun to forgive them as a father that he is.
Gazal said: “We are here to beg you as a father that you are in this state. Your Excellency, please forgive us. If you don’t forgive us, who do we go to? So, on behalf of all of us, I’m tendering this apology, and in particular, on behalf of Wale Adedayo.”
After saying this, the council boss prostrated before the governor and others followed suit as they begged Abiodun to forgive them.
Responding, Abiodun said he had been operating with every iota of sincerity of purpose.
Abiodun said he had continued to ensure that “I am guided with all the promises I made in the course of my journey to the governor’s office.”
DAILY POST reports that Adedayo himself was at the meeting, but it could not be immediately confirmed whether or not he also prostrated to beg Gov Abiodun, whom he had accused of diverting council funds.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, has called on the State House of Assembly to investigate the allegations raised by Adedayo.
Adebutu said he had since 2021 been complaining about the way local government funds were being managed in the State.
Adebutu, who spoke through his media aide, Afolabi Orekoya, said the outburst of a serving chairman, Adedayo had vindicated him.
He claimed that, “a total amount of N153bn had been diverted and that is why our local governments are in a terrible state.”
But, the governor has debunked all allegations that he diverted council funds since he came on board.
Instead, Abiodun said that he had been augmenting the local government funds coming from the federation account so that the chairmen could meet their financial obligations, especially the payment of salaries.