The residents of Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State woke up on Thursday morning to see notice pasted around town asking the Chairman of the Local Government, Hon Babatunde Emilola-Gazal to within 48 hours account for the federal allocations that have accrued to the local governments in the last two years otherwise there will be protest against his government.
The notice reads “Gazal must go, Gazal must go, Gazal must go. Explain to the Ijebus what you have done with the collected federal allocation according to your claim. You are hereby given 48 hours to furnish the Ijebus how you spend the allocations. Failing to do this will lead to protest within the local government. By concerned citizens”.
The Chairman having seen this notice pasted around was said to have stayed away from office to avoid being attacked.
Speaking with our Correspondent, Emilola-Gazal confirmed this incident saying that it was however a sponsored move. He also confirmed staying away from office adding that he will soon come out as appropriate at the right time to give accountability as far as the funding of the local government is concerned
He said “It is a sponsored move, yes, I stayed away from office, we shall come out as appropriate at the right time”
A resident of Ijebu Ode who craved for anonymity said that the situation was a bit tense up in the morning as the residents were not happy with how the LG boss had defended Gov Abiodun over the allegation of diversion of funds meant to develop the grassroots as alleged by the suspended Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Hon Wale Adedayo.
Recall that Hon Emilola-Gazal who also doubles as the Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Ogun State while speaking on the alleged diversion of the LG funds amounting to N10.8bn as claimed by the suspended Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, Hon Wale Adedayo, had said that there was nothing like that because Gov Dapo Abiodun had always allow the local governments to utilize their allocation.
He had led other local government chairmen in the state last Tuesday to prostrate and beg Gov Abiodun over the outburst of Adedayo on the allegation of Zero allocation to the local governments for the past two years.
Emilola Gazal, told the governor that the visit was to acknowledge the mistakes that were made and to beg for forgiveness.He acknowledged that the governor had at no time interfered in the distribution and sharing of local government funds from the federation account. He reportedly said as the leader, the governor was bound to be insulted, but he must forgive and forget.
Emilola-Gazal said that the governor has been passionate about the development of the state, adding that no previous administration can claim the same success recorded across the state in the last four years.
The chairmen during the meeting were also said to have acknowledged that in May, N4.5bn was shared by the 20 local governments. In June, N4.4bn was shared, while July also saw the sharing of N4.4bn. In August, N5.2bn was shared. They also confirmed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor was augmenting their allocation to the tune of N1bn monthly.
The chairmen were equally said to have admitted that because of insufficient funds from the federation accounts, they have been unable to pay the mandatory Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to the state, and as a result, they are owning the state, several billions.