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Obasanjo decries hijacking of council funds by states

Posted by From Madu Onuorah, (Abuja) on 2005/01/06 | Views: 241 |

Obasanjo decries hijacking of council funds by states


PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja hosted chairmen of the 774 councils, decrying the habit of "ambushing and hijacking" funds meant for the development of local councils by state governments and some "powerful individuals."

PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja hosted chairmen of the 774 councils, decrying the habit of "ambushing and hijacking" funds meant for the development of local councils by state governments and some "powerful individuals."

Addressing the council chairmen, the President charged them henceforth to emphasise the development of agriculture and food security, small and medium-scale enterprises as well as physical and human infrastructure.

President Obasanjo said focusing on these initiatives would make life better for Nigerians.

He therefore urged the councils to develop a "holistic and modern approach" to agriculture by taking advantage of the presidential initiatives in the production of cassava, livestock, rice, tree crops, vegetable oil, maize, catfish and yam.

Taking a swipe at state governments and political godfathers who hijack council funds, the President said: "I must say that the Federal Government is completely opposed to any policy, written or otherwise, that deprives local councils, and by implication the people of Nigeria, of their
resources.

"If resources are waylaid or ambushed by other levels of government, how are you expected to pay salaries, create jobs, promote growth and development, and meet the basic needs of your people?"
He also accused the chairmen of complicating their situations by bowing to intimidation and manipulations of their sponsors and state governments.

He said: "Some of the local councils' leaderships set themselves up for easy intimidation and manipulation by not working together, lacking the political will to defend their positions and compromising their mandates even before they got to office.

"I even heard of stories of sponsors who demand and receive regular monthly stipends from local council chairmen and councillors. These are some of the drawbacks in our political culture that we want to eliminate through the political reforms", the President stressed.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.