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Lagos LGAs Tasked to Fund Kogi Election, CSOs Condemn Move

Yemi Adebowale

A decision to forcefully task the twenty Local Government Areas of Lagos State to contribute N50 million each to fund Kogi State Governorship election has received bashing from a coalition of civil societies and well meaning Lagosians. The development is coming after the reluctance by the Governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to contribute N100 million each to the Kogi project.

According to Nigerian online newspaper, Breaking Times, the move came under attack during a press conference addressed by Tunde Babarinsa, Chairman Coalition of Civil Societies, Lagos State and Alabi Oyewole, a representatives of well meaning Lagosians over the planned N1 billion extortion from the limited funds availaible to the local government areas.

The groups at the press conferences, held in Lagos lamented the over-bearing burden placed on the local councils over an election that does not have a bearing with the state.

It would be recalled that the 23 state governors of the APC had refused the call for them to contribute N100 million each as mandatory contribution to fund the Kogi State Governorship election.

The governors at their forum in Abuja, frowned at the “unhealthy contribution” on the premise that they have several financial burdens to shoulder in their various states, even as they faulted the mandatory contribution in this period of dwindled allocations when they are unable to meet their obligations to workers in their states.

A source who pleaded anonymity, said the Governors of Oyo, Osun and Kwara States in particular outrightly refused the contribution, and in the process, staged a walked out of the meeting. One of the governors was quoted saying that N100 million would go a long way in assisting them meet some important responsibilities in their respective states, rather than contributing to a state election where the candidate is alleged to be unpopular and was reluctant to issues of the party until he became a flag bearer.

It would be recalled that the governments of Oyo, Osun and Kwara states are owing workers salaries, even with the bailout the states got from the Federal Government, thus making their State governors and others to backout from the forceful contribution.

The Kogi State Governorship Election is slated for November between Capt Idris Wada of the PDP, a man described as a prudent manger of resources and Prince Abubakar Audu, of the APC, perceived to have the tendency to loot the state treasure, following his record as former governor of the state.

Local Government Councils in Lagos State it was gathered had earlier contributed the sum of N200 million for James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, Representing Ikeja-Lagos Federal Constituency, who is the running mate to Prince Audu. Faleke, a two time chairman of Ojodu Council, was nominated as Audu’s running mate by APC’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Consequently, the Lagos councils were further tasked to fund the Kogi Election following the reluctance and refusal by the APC governors to raise funds for the campaign. The contribution according to Babarinsa is on and to be completed before October 31.

 

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