The Kwara chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) has justified the inclusion of vice chairmen and councilors in the suspension of local government councils by Gov. Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq.
The ALGON expressed its support for the action in a statement signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Mr Joshua Omokanye and Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar-Bata.
A copy of the statement was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ilorin.
It said that both the executive and legislative arms of the local government councils were guilty of the financial impropriety.
NAN reports that the association was reacting to the news conference addressed by the forum of vice chairmen and councilors on Monday, where the forum described as illegal their inclusion in the suspension of local government councils.
Hon. Yusuf Mohammed, the Chairman of the forum, had said that vice chairmen and councilors were never incriminated in the investigations conducted by the state government.
Mohammed had sought for their inauguration as the chairmen of the various councils in line with the provision of the constitution.
But the ALGON in its statement noted that the vice chairmen could not exonerate themselves of the financial misappropriation against the councils because they were the Supervisory Councilors in their respective local government councils and represented the councils at the statutory monthly Local Government Allocation meeting.
The statement also said that council chairmen could not spend any money not appropriated by the legislative arm of the council headed by the Speaker.
“It therefore goes without saying that the Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, and the Councilors are in the know of every financial transactions of the Local Government.
“It is most unfortunate and comical that the Vice Chairmen and Councillors presently on suspension with Council Chairmen on allegation of financial impropriety could now embark on fabricating white lies to justify their ignoble role with seemingly logical and plausible reasons, when in actual facts these are far from the truth.
“They do this with their press statement deceitfully before the general public in order to scapegoat the Chairmen and heap blame on them with a view to exculpating themselves from guilt so that they could be returned to office as Chairmen and Councillors respectfully,” the ALGON said in the statement.
The statement said that the claim by the councils’ Vice Chairmen that the state government did not allow them to take charge in place of chairmen was a shallow way of exonerating themselves in the financial dealings of the councils, so that they could continue in office.
“This, to us, is a self indictment on the part of the councilors who had seemingly shown dereliction of duty by looking the other way while the Chairmen “misappropriate funds” instead of curbing it.
“They are therefore either partakers or onlookers in the crime who should not be allowed to benefit from same.
“Their claim is not only preposterous, self-seeking, self-serving, malicious but also a deliberate attempt at scapegoating the Chairmen alone by tactically passing the buck on them in order to extricate themselves from the political pit into which Local Government Councils in Kwara State have been condemned,” the statement further read in part.
The state ALGON, however, said that the suspension of both arms of government of the Local Government Councils came after the probe of the alleged petition to the House against the 16 councils was right.
“In the light of the foregoing, it is therefore our position that the State Government should not backpedal on the extension of the suspension slammed on the Local Government Councils in the State and should not be distracted by the so called action instituted against her by the frustrated Vice Chairmen and Councillors who merely wanted to reap where they never sown,” ALGON stressed. (NAN)
– Dec. 26, 2019 @ 15:05 GMT |