The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has challenged the state governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, to explain to the people of the state what he does with the N500 million he collects as security votes monthly before asking council chairmen and councillors to suspend their security votes to enable them pay salaries of their workers.
State chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, who addressed newsmen in Benin, yesterday, said that the governor had no moral justification to talk on accountability and transparency in Abuja when he cannot explain to Edo people how he has been spending the money he collects for security in a state that has no security challenge.
He attributed the financial crisis rocking local governments in Edo State to the state government’s financial recklessness and accused it of plunging the councils into a financial mess as a result of its spending of funds meant for them.
Fifteen of the 18 councils in Edo State are currently are owing workers’ salaries ranging from three to 10 months.
According to Orbih, “the problem was not because the councils were not getting money from the Federation Account but due to the state government taking money meant for the councils every month. N212.278 billion was released to the 18 councils in the state between November 2008, when Oshiomhole assumed office, and April 2015.”
He said the move to stop the security votes of the council chairmen to enable council workers’ salaries to be paid was laughable and immoral.
Orbih, who said the council chairmen earn between N1.7million and N1.2 million each per month as security votes, while the legislative arm of the councils earns about N1 million each as security votes, noted that the total monthly combined sum of N42 million was nowhere close to the over N500 million Governor Oshiomhole earns as security votes.
Orbih, who also spoke on the flood and erosion problem confronting Benin City, said there was nothing on ground to justify the N30 billion facilities obtained from the capital market and the N5 billion received from the World Bank to curtail the erosion menace as many houses and property were lost to downpour last week in the state capital.