‘Heed the voice of reason, stop tampering with LG funds’, Group tells Gov. Abdulrazaq

The Kwara North PDP Youth Alliance has called on Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to heed the voice of reason and stop tampering with the finances of local government councils in the State.
The group made the call in the wake of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment, accusing state governors of stealing local governments’ funds and stunting development at the third tier of government.
In a statement signed by its Secretary, Abubakar Hussaini Issa, the group said for as long as the State government continues to tamper with funds belonging to the local councils, Governor Abdulrazaq cannot absolve himself of the blame Buhari lay on state governors.
According to the statement, a Governor that tampers with LG funds, appoints his cronies as Transition Implementation Committee, TIC, to run the councils, and that has failed to conduct council election in almost four years cannot claim he does not fall under the radar of President Buhari’s comment.
“While Governor Abdulrazaq and his media handlers keep lying to Kwarans that LGs in the State enjoy financial autonomy, the realities on ground suggest otherwise.
“As far as we know local government councils in Kwara do not have both administrative and financial autonomy. How can anyone say the councils enjoy financial autonomy when the State government still decides for them and distributes funds on their behalf ?
“For instance, the Federal government recently made a refund of around N3.7billion to the 16 LGs in Kwara. Rather than credit the accounts of the councils with the amount due to each, the government of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq elected to sit on the funds and decide what to do with it. Can the Governor tell Kwarans how much of the N3.7billion will be used to offset salary and pension arrears ?
“We appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for coming out to speak against governors pilfering local government funds and stunting their development. We recall with nostalgia how Hajia Aisha Patigi lost her place in the cabinet of Governor Abdulrazaq after exposing the Finance Commissioner for misappropriation of N300m from LG funds monthly.
“We are concerned about the refusal of Governor Abdulrazaq to conduct local government election for almost four years, even when his former commissioner for justice, Barrister Salman Jawondo (SAN) publicly said said on radio sometimes around December, 2021 last year that there is going to be local government election by January this year.
“The administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has rendered local government administration completely useless. No wonder, his government celebrates as achievements projects that ought to be executed by local governments if there exists a functional system at that level.
“It is on this note that we are calling on Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to loosen his hold and strangulation on the LGs particularly LGs in Kwara North who have suffered the most in terms of marginalisation and ill-treatment. Mr Governor should stop tampering with their finances and also grant them administrative and financial autonomy, both in words and action.

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