The Governor of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday, summoned the local government chairmen in the state over allegations of corruption against his administration.
In an eight-second viral video, some of the state council chairmen were seen prostrating to the governor to beg over a letter that circulated across social media accusing Mr Abiodun of alleged mismanagement of local government funds.
The chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Wale Adedayo, who wrote the letter dated August 28, had accused the state governor of suppressing the local government.
He also described his LGA as a completely rural area devoid of basic infrastructure such as roads, owing partly to the administration of Governor Abiodun.
However, sources familiar with the matter informed this newspaper that Mr Abiodun, enraged by Mr Adebayo’s letter, immediately summoned the 20 council chairmen to the Ogun state government house in Abeokuta, the state capital.
According to government officials who asked not to be named as they do not have permission to speak to the media, said that the council chairmen rushed to the governor’s office in Abeokuta, led by ALGON Chairman Babatunde Emilola-Gazal, on the orders of Mr Abiodun to beg for forgiveness.
“Your Excellency, we have come here to beg you as a father that you are, as a father of all in the state, we want you to forgive us,” Mr Gazal said.
“Your Excellency, if you don’t forgive us, who do we run to? So, on behalf of all of us, I am tendering this apology,” Mr Gazal said, and subsequently prostrated alongside others, before the governor who remained seated.
In response, Mr Abiodun stated in his remarks that he has always carried out his duties as governor with “every sincerity of purpose.”
This move comes amid heightened back-and-forth crises between the executive branch and local governments, the latter of which has complained of being impoverished as a result of inadequate funding.
To address these crises, former President Muhammadu Buhari signed Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, which required all federation states to include funds for both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
According to the letter addressed to a former governor of the state and a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olusegun Osoba, Mr Adedayo said the governor had perpetrated the illegal act since he took office in May 2019.
Part of the petition read: “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. Why have they taken over revenue sources of the local government? How do they want the grassroots to breathe?
“In Ijebua 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!
“Be assured that I am readily available to answer any question about what I have written here,” he said.