Governorship candidate of Action Congress (AC) in Osun State in the 2007 general elections, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola has raised a fresh alarm over the deduction of funds allocated to the 30 local governments from the federation account by Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration.
A release signed by Aregbesola’s Media Assistant, Mr Gbenga Fayemiwo and made available to OSUN DEFENDER on Monday expressed worry that despite series of petitions filed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the issue, the deduction still continues unabated.
Aregbesola said: “Our findings showed that between 45 and 50 per cent of the revenue accruing to the local government in Osun State are being deducted by the state government under the guise of State Joint Accounts.
“The situation has rendered the local governments ineffective to discharge the onerous duties imposed on them by the 1999 Constitution”.
He however called on the EFCC to set its apparatus in motion for immediate action on the situation in Osun State, saying this would clear the air that the anti-graft commission is not protecting financial criminals.
According to him: “Many of the 30 local governments have now become glorified pay masters that just collect remnants from the state joint accounts and hand it over to their workers.
“The situation has become more deplorable to the extent that some of the councils have not been able to fund the running grant accounts of their departments to operate efficiently”.
The AC flagbearer noted that in the past, when opposition political parties cried out about the deductions, some chairmen of Local Governments came out with a contrary position and absolved the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration but “existing facts have however shown that the defence of these chairmen was a lie and a deliberate attempt to protect the state government”.
According to him, “Oyinlola has become a car dealer who buys automobiles and other consumables for local governments and then deducts the cost from the source” and that council funds have been diverted to projects that have no relevance with the development aspiration of the people of Osun State”.
He expressed surprise that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has not been able to act on the petition earlier sent to it, charging the commission to act urgently on the issue.
Aregbesola also lamented the payment of the state constituency project fund to the state legislators, despite the petitions with the EFCC and ICPC on the disbursement of the funds.
The AC candidate asked: “Are we being told that once you are a member of the ruling party, you are not required to obey common laws and ethos?”
We have vouched for Farida’s integrity and neutrality while her record of service is a testimony to the fact that she is a patriot who will not allow any criminal past acquaintanceship to rubbish her career.