The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, on Thursday, alleged that the former chairmen of the 18 local government areas in the state are still collecting salaries after they have left office.
According to PDP, the ex-chairmen failed to hand over to the most senior council official in their respective councils after their tenure had expired in August.
PDP made this claim in a statement released through the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kennedy Peretei.
Peretei noted that the chairmen are still receiving salaries because of the absence of the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is still recuperating in Ibadan, Oyo State.
PDP said, “The multidimensional consequences of the absence of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State from his duty post, due to ill health, once again, have come to the fore. The former local government chairmen, whose three-year tenure ended in August this year, are still drawing salaries from the state treasury.
“The ugly development is simply because no new political helmsmen have been appointed by the governor who has been battling with his health and there is no agreement between warring factions of the government as to how to fill these sensitive vacancies.
“The former council bosses also refused to hand over their official vehicles despite the dissolution of the councils by Lucky Aiyedatiwa during his tenure as acting governor. The impunity orchestrated by Akeredolu and his collaborators on the people of Ondo State is unprecedented.”
PDP lamented over the absence of the state governor at President Bola Tinubu’s meeting with the National Police Council in Abuja which all governors or their deputies attended, on Tuesday, saying, “Neither has the state had any representation at the regular National Economic Council meetings in Abuja since Akeredolu fell ill.
“The PDP, Ondo State chapter, once again reiterates that the plan of Akeredolu’s handlers to profit from this sorry state of affairs and completely run the state aground will be resisted by all lawful means.”
The former LG chairmen in reaction to the allegation, described it as “a lie from the pit of hell.”
The immediate-past chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria in Ondo State, Augustine Oloruntogbe, speaking on behalf of others, said none of his members had financial engagement in their councils after leaving office.
Oloruntogbe, who was a former Chairman of the Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state, said, “The PDP in Ondo State has been spreading falsehood against us, saying that we, the former chairmen, are still collecting salaries from our various local governments.
“We are here to deny the allegation vehemently and to tell the whole world that it is a lie from the pit of hell.
“Since we left the local government, we have never received a dime from our local government. Even when I was appointed as one of the panel members to chair the palliatives, I had to send a representative since I was no longer in the local government.
“We haven’t had any financial relationships with our local governments since we left. We left on August 30, 2023.”
A former chairman of the Idanre Local Council, Prince Kayode Aroloye, said none of their members is involved in such an act, asking the PDP to retract the allegation or face the legal consequences.
He said, “We have not been collecting salaries. We are, therefore, instructing that the allegation by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, Kennedy Peretei, should be immediately withdrawn and an apology given within the next 24 hours, otherwise he will hear from our lawyers.
“We are men and women of integrity. Some of us built our names over the years before we entered politics. We will not allow our names to be rubbed in the mud under the guise of playing politics. We won’t accept this. If they have been doing it, we won’t allow this to go unchallenged.”