Residents of Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State have asked the council chairman, Babatunde Emilola-Gazal, to account for the statutory allocations he had received from the Federal Government since 2021.
It could be recalled that the Chairman of Ijebu-East, Wale Adedayo, had recently accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of diverting council funds.
The allegations were vehemently debunked by Gov Abiodun, who said he had been augmenting whatever the local governments had been getting from the Federal Government.
Members of the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) and other 19 local government chairmen of Ogun also disowned Adedayo, when they said no council fund was diverted.
DAILY POST recalls that Emilola-Gazal, who is the chairman of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria, (ALGON) also led his fellow council bosses to Gov Abiodun, to whom they prostrated and apologised over the statement made by the suspended Ijebu-East Chairman.
In other meetings with top government functionaries in the State, Emilola-Gazal, re-echoed the fact that no money was missing in any of the local governments in Ogun.
However, it appears indigenes of Ijebu-Ode Local Government were not pleased with the confession coming from their chairman.
The people of the council area said they were not happy that the chairman had not been executing projects even when he had confirmed that the governor did not seize their funds.
In a notice pasted in strategic locations in Ijebu-Ode on Thursday, residents gave Emilola-Gazal 48 hours to explain how he had spent the allocation he had received from the federal government since the last two years he came on board.
In the notice, the residents who addressed themselves as Concerned Citizens, said: “Gazal must go, Gazal must go, Gazal must go. Explain to the Ijebus what you have done with the collected federal allocation according to your claim. You are hereby given 48 hours to furnish the Ijebus how you spent the allocations. Failing to do this will lead to protest within the local government.”
A resident, who spoke anonymously to DAILY POST, said “The time has come to hold our local government chairmen accountable, now that we know that the governor does not divert their funds. Emilola-Gazal should tell us how he has been spending our money.”
It was gathered that the council boss has since stayed from his office when his attention was called to the notice and the threat of a protest in Ijebu-Ode.
When contacted, Emilola-Gazal confirmed the development, saying, however, that it was a sponsored move.
“You are aware of what happened as regards a letter written by Wale Adedayo. He raised issues and also made request and we had an amicable understanding that the issues should be resolved in-house henceforth.
“We all agreed that internal mechanisms should be explored to solve all issues because, what will you gain if we keep dragging ourselves to the media? Even me, I have been maligned, I am being maligned.
“Giving account is the easiest thing for me to do but nobody should give me an ultimatum; when it is time we shall come out and explain things. But let me just say this, that this is being orchestrated by some persons within the local government, Yes! A few of them, and I can tell you that authoritatively.
“We have an idea of who they are. They are trying to cause a breach of the peace of the society and appropriate authorities will take them up,” Emilola-Gazal stated.
He confirmed that he had stayed away from his office, saying: “It is a sponsored move, yes, I stayed away from office, we shall come at the right time and give account.”