By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, in Edo State, has denied the allegation that N36 million is being deducted monthly from the 18 local government areas of the state for the maintenance of the official residence of members of the state House of Assembly.
Chairman of ALGON in the State, Mrs Itohan Osahon-Ogbeide, who refuted the allegation yesterday, told journalists that the councils had no business contributing money for the maintenance of the lawmakers “when we find it difficult to pay salaries.”
She also said the four chairmen suspended by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, were found wanting in the affairs of their councils, asserting that their suspension had nothing to do with the state House of Assembly.
According to her: “The allegation, as far as ALGON is concerned, is frivolous, untrue and reckless in the sense that the renovation of legislators’ quarters is not the responsibility of local governments. Assembly quarters are not owned by the lawmakers themselves, they are owned by the state. I don’t think any local government can be richer than the state. So, there is no truth in that allegation.
“You know when the tenure of local government is coming to an end that is when you see people peddling all kinds of allegations to rubbish whoever is there to curry favour and stop the chairmen from securing a second term. Again, don’t forget this is the time of petition writing to EFFC and ICPC to intimidate those they suspect will win nominations. There is no time we have ever contributed money to the House of Assembly for anything.”
Reacting to the suspension of four council chairmen by Governor Oshiomhole, Mrs. Osahon-Ogbeide said: “It was not the House of Assembly that suspended the chairmen rather it was the governor who discovered one thing or the other against them. I am sure those peddling these lies are people after those who have been suspended. It is just a plan to rubbish ALGON. If the executive of any local government has run foul of the law and the person is found guilty after investigation, the person will face the music.”