Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State, and his administration have been alleged of continuously hijacking the allocation of the 33 local government areas in the state to finance projects where his cronies have considerable interests.
A group— Concerned Youths Organization in Oyo State, CYOYOS, in a strongly worded press statement titled: ‘’Lest We Forget’’ on Thursday dugged the archives and found out that, unlike what he stood for, even spreads of development across the local councils, the Governor for the fourth-year running as the State helmsman, is ostensibly doing the opposite.
To this end, the group said, local government administration in Oyo State continues to suffer any meaningful development because the Makinde is appropriating funds meant to the development therein for projects that are not people-centered unlike what he canvassed in 2017, two years before he became the Governor.
According to a signed statement by the convener of the CYOYOS, David Akinloye, “the governor’s nonchalant attitude towards entrenching real development at the grassroots level, is going beyond what an average residents can easily understood, hence the need to remind the people that the governor is not a gentleman that he claimed to be.”
The statement stated that ‘Yoruba aphorism says a gentleman’s word should be his bond.’
Reminding the people of Makinde’s statement in a story published in Nigerian Tribune on February 5, 2017, CYOYOS recalled same as follows:- “Makinde, a former gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, has harped on the need for reform of local government administration for the grassroots to experience real development of their communities.
“Makinde, in a press statement, added that the untapped potentials and hidden resources in rural and urban communities could only be unleashed by a progressive local administration system.
“While we believe that advocates of autonomy for local governments as the third tier of government in Nigeria are wrong, we are also of the view that our governors have been too unkind to their people by tying local administrations to their apron strings and Oyo State appears to be worse-off”.
Asking if anything had changed for the better under Makinde who never believed in the autonomy of Local Councils as postulated in his statement above, “CYOYOS further queried why any of the Local Government has failed to tar or commission a single kilometer of road for close to two years they were ‘elected’ into their various local governments.
“The residents are of the view that developments at the grassroots had since taken flight under Makinde administration.”
A senior citizen in Ibadan who preferred anonymity said not a few political observers were worried about the ugly trend because ”even the local government Chairmen who were handpicked by the Governor were groaning in silence as many of them have become laughing stocks in the face of the communities they are supretending over.
“Billions of naira have been expended on some projects that did not emanate from the chairmen but for which they were asked to request for their contractual agreement.
“Oyo state government under the infamous State/Local Government Joint Allocation has been appropriating and spending the local government funds at the expense of real and people-centred projects like roads rehabilitation/reconstruction thus making many feeder roads a nightmare for motorists plying them.
“It is noteworthy that no council chairman has flagged off any major road construction despite the monthly allocations from the federation account.
“The councils were being saddled with security expenditures at all council areas with monthly allowance of N10million each. The Amotekun logistics including recently procured patrol vehicles was being funded by the councils.
“The much acclaimed PHCs is also being funded by these councils. One wonders what the State Government is using its own Allocation and internally generated revenue for?”, he thundered.
To confirm his fear, the Chief directed the CYOYOS to a recent decision by the governor to kick start construction of feeder roads with a recently sourced World Bank loan.
He referred CYOYOS to a recent press statement of the State Government published by Businessday Newspaper on August 10: “the Government has disclosed that work would soon begin on the feeder roads in the state.
“Funding for the feeder roads is provided through the €3.5million World Bank-assisted Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).
“Governor Seyi Makinde, who revealed this in his newsletter dated July 28, said: “We chose to first concentrate on creating a network of roads that link the five zones of our dear state before moving on to work on the inner city or feeder roads.”
According to him, “I thanked the people of Oyo State for their support of the infrastructure policies of the present administration and our approach to infrastructural development in Oyo State.
”CYOYOS has therefore called the attention of all residents of the State to the Governor’s lackadaisical attitude towards entrenching and promoting real developments at the local councils in the State and therefore charged them to be vigilant and ask questions on how the government’s revenues are being expended to guarantee accountability and probity in governance.”