Ex-LG chairs still earning salaries in Ondo due to Akeredolu’s continued absence from state, PDP alleges

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo has alleged that former local government chairmen in the state still earn salaries from the state’s treasury despite leaving office.

Kennedy Peretei, the PDP spokesperson, in a statement on Thursday in Akure, blamed the development on the continued absence of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from the state, noting that the chairmen’s tenure expired in August.

“Local government chairmen whose three-year tenure ended in August this year are still drawing salaries from the state treasury,” Mr Peretei alleged.

He added, “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 state government, in August, dissolved the elected 18 LGA chairmen and the councilors in the state. Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in acting capacity as of then, said the dissolution followed the expiration of the three-year tenure of the chairmen.

“This implies that all chairmen and councillors would vacate their respective offices accordingly and hand over the administration of the local governments,” Mr Aiyedatiwa said.

He subsequently directed the heads of LG administration in the 18 LGAs to take charge of the local councils pending further directives from the government.

But in his statement, Mr Peretei alleged that the former council bosses refused to hand over their official cars despite their tenure expiration.

He described the action of the former council bosses as an “impunity” being orchestrated by people in government.

“The former council bosses refused to hand over their official vehicles in spite of the dissolution of the councils by Lucky Aiyedatiwa during his tenure as acting governor.

“In Akure South Local Government Area, the rate officers remit internally generated revenue of the local government to the former chairman who still carries on with all the paraphernalia of his office, apart from resuming in his office.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (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,” Mr Peretei stated.

Reacting, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state described the PDP’s allegation as malicious and a futile attempt to soil the image of the local government chairmen.

Augustine Oloruntogbe, the former chairman of ALGON in the state, said the former council bosses had since submitted their handover notes to the various heads of LG administration who have been holding forth in all 18 LGAs since August 30, 2023.

“The fake news by Petetei Ikantu is completely false and makes no sense. It is mere fake news that only satisfies his mischief and the selfish interest of the opposition party, PDP.

“We also reiterate that Mr Petetei Ikantu should withdraw the libellous publication with public apology within 24 hours, failure which we will recourse to legal remedy,” he said.

However, Peoples Gazette could not immediately reach Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, for comments.