The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has challenged Governor Seyi Makinde to provide detailed account of what he has done with the sum of over N706billion believed to have accrued to the state government coffers, the 33 local government councils as monthly allocations from the federal government and the state internally generated revenue in the last 42 months or be ready to face the wrath of the law after May 29, 2023 when his tenure of office would have ended.
Oyo APC’s challenge came against the backdrop of President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent revelation about state governors hiding under the unavailability of local government autonomy law to hijack funds meant for the running of the third tier of government. However, this allegation has been denied by some state governors excluding Gov. Makinde who the main opposition party in his state has claimed to be culpable.
In a statement issued at the weekend and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC queried the Oyo State House of Assembly over its “non-committal to the consideration and passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill into law and thereby aiding Gov. Makinde to emasculate the whole 33 local government councils in the state for his own selfish reasons.
“That some governors feed fat on the resources of the local government councils in their respective state is no longer news but President Muhammadu Buhari only voiced out when he could no longer stomach the executive rascality being exhibited by the likes of Gov. Makinde. Right from the moment he was sworn-in on May 29, 2019, Gov. Makinde did not hide his determination to subjugate the third tier of government as the first proclamation he made was the sacking of the elected council officials to pave the way for his mission of domestic recolonization.
“He then handpicked some yes men and made them stooges who only duty was to sign documents prepared to divert funds from the coffers of these councils. Most of the same growing robots were returned as elected officials a year after and they have never failed in discharging their main duty of aiding the governor in the business of misappropriating funds meant for the running of all local government councils in the state. They sign vouchers prepared for the payment of staff salary as well as the papers indicating joint funding of invisible projects by the state and their respective councils. This has been the practice since June 2019.
“Oyo state gets an average of N5b in monthly allocation from Abuja while the administration of Gov. Makinde claimed to have raised the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state to over N3b since it came on board in 2019. With N336b directly accrued to the state government, Gov. Makinde still seized the whole of N170b local government council funds and as if this was not enough, they have taken over N200b loans at different times. If we are to be silent on the billions of grants and subventions which the PDP administration has received so far, it is safe to say that a whopping sum of N706b has been realized but all the state government can account is the salaries paid to workers and appointees.
“We cannot hold any brief for the incumbent local government officials since they willingly submit to fraudulent arrangement in use to divert funds from their respective local government councils to the purse of fake contractors, the chairmen too sit on top of funds being realized as IGR on monthly basis. The most embarrassing was the ill-advised revelation made by the governor on a live interview regarding how he had to stop the release of N10m in security votes to all the council chairman after they had failed to account for the previous ones they got.
“As much as battle the shame of having a governor who has been caught in the web of mismanagement of council funds as established by Mr. President recently, we find it imperative to appeal to eminent citizens of the state to prevail on Gov. Makinde to return all the monies now stashed in private accounts and deploy same for the improvement of public infrastructure, security, education, agriculture among other things. Our interest does not lie in having Gov. Makinde facing the trouble of anti-graft agencies after leaving office in 2023 and it is on this premise that we are urging him to readjust in the area of managing public funds to reflect accountability and discipline.” APC stated.