•Get Wardrobe, Cosmetic Allowances •Ife-Central Chair, Afenifere, NCP Kick
AT the time some nations and states are busy strategizing on how to fix their economies against the roaming global economic meltdown, Osun State Government in collaboration with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s), controlled local government councils have introduced another conduit pipe through which the federal allocations accruing to the state and councils could be further diverted into some private accounts of some political office holders and their families.
In an investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER, wives of the 30 local government council chairmen, including the wife of the Area Office Administrator in Modakeke have started collecting a brand of Chinese posh cars, ‘Brilliance’, valued N3.5million each.
Meanwhile, an individual council was said to have created an office of the council’s ‘first lady’, which is alien to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, according to a political pundit who spoke to OSUN DEFENDER, a project that has not only created a loophole for the councils’ funds but also added to their over-bloated expenses.
It was learnt that the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola allegedly brokered the deal in order to further boost his interest at an automobile industry in China, situated in the Asian continent. It would be recalled that the state has arranged bizarre loan facilities for different cadres of political and government functionaries in the last six years, as commissioners, legislators, council bosses, permanent secretaries and some senior civil servants, both in the state and councils.
Findings also revealed that at a meeting of the 31 council chiefs, under the banner of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Osun State chapter, it was disclosed that it was only the chairman of Ife-Central Local Government that kicked against the car gifts to the councils ‘bosses’ spouses.
Checks showed that the unco-operative chairman argued that the proposal for the office of the wives of the council chairmen was another waste that the councils in the state could not afford, adding that the car gift might upset the people at the grassroots; but was defeated by the majority of the chairmen, who are believed to have 100 per cent allegiance to the governor.
In a related development, a source at the Ministry of Local Government in the state has confided in OSUN DEFENDER that the sum of N108.5million, the aggregate amount for the cars meant for the 31 councils would be deducted from the source, a code which states how funds could be deducted from the Federal allocations.
Information has further shown that some councils have approved ward-robe and cosmetic allowances close to N1.5million, apart from the monthly salaries and stipends for the wives of the council bosses in the state.
In an interview with the spokesman of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARC), Osun State Chapter, Mr. Kola Olabisi, the largesse to the wives of the council chairmen was contempt of good governance, saying that Governor Oyinlola has proven to be a replica of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, (NPN), that resorted to sharing wealth of the nation among the party loyalists before the military struck in 1983.
“Between 1979 and 1983, the then ruling NPN was busy sharing our wealth, rewarding party loyalists, thugs and sychophants before the military struck and there was nothing to show as an achievement for it and I can see that Governor Oyinlola is not different”, said Olabisi.
Besides, the state Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP) Alhaji Waheed Lawal has vowed to get to the root of the matter, and protest what he called a monumental fraud to all the anti-graft bodies, maintaining that his party would alert the whole world about the matter.
“We in the NCP would not take the illegality called car gifts to the wives of the chairmen of the 31 councils lightly. We shall compile our documentary evidence, petition the anti-graft bodies and invite the whole world into this matter,” said Lawal.
By GOKE BUTIKA