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Ogun LG councillors protest against suspension

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Prince Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state. Photo/Twitter/dabiodunMFR

Councillors from the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of Ogun State yesterday stormed the entrance of the state House of Assembly Complex in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, to protest the resolution of the Assembly suspending them.

The councillors, who had thronged the Assembly complex at 8:00 a.m., prevented lawmakers and members of staff of the House from gaining entrance into the complex displaying placards bearing various inscriptions such as “The lawmakers are the lawbreakers,” “OGHA led by Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, don’t rubbish Dapo Abiodun’s administration through your selfishness”, among others.

The Speaker of the House, Suraj Isola Adekunbi, caught the protesters unaware by gaining entrance into the complex but the protesters charged at his convoy hauling abuses at him for presiding over their suspension.

The Speaker, who later alighted from his vehicle, told the councillors to find a better way to address their agitations, advising that calling him names would not solve any problem.

But spokesman of the aggrieved councillors, Azeez Oloyede, who spoke with the Speaker, said they were surprised at the position of the Assembly at a time when the issue of local government autonomy was being addressed.

Oloyede, who stated that they had not received any correspondence to the effect of any allegation of financial misappropriation against the administration of the local government before the decision was taken, said they disregarded the rumour of their suspension since no letter has been addressed to them, only for them to be “attacked” by career officers at the local governments when attempts were made to resume at their offices.

The Speaker, who later addressed the press, said he was surprised to see the protesters at the Assembly complex since they had not received any correspondence concerning their suspension.

Adekunbi said the Assembly acted within its own power and that the councillors should wait for communication from the Executive arm of the government.

He insisted that the Assembly had received a lot of petitions against the administration of local governments in the state and that he had brought same unofficially to the notice of the chairmen.

On why the petitions were not investigated before the suspension, the Speaker said it didn’t matter which one comes first, adding that the development was as a result of exigencies, Meanwhile, the state government has directed all Directors of Finance and Accounts (DFAs), bursars and accountants of government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to declare all accounts in their custody to enable the new administration deliver on its mandate.

The directive was given yesterday by the Accountant-General/Permanent Secretary, State Treasury Office, Mr. Michael Olubunmi Idowu, during a meeting with DFAs in all government agencies, held at the Conference Room, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

“Banks that fail to declare any bank accounts in their custody shall receive serious sanctions. All Agencies’ accounts must be disclosed and bank statements submitted to the Ministry of Finance on or before Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Moreover, all government’s accounts are now placed on embargo and shall only be lifted after the approval of the governor,” Idowu said.


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