The Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the October 20 Ondo state governorship election, Olusola Oke, has given insight into how he plans to disburse local government funds if elected.
Mr. Oke has offered to pay traditional rulers five per cent of all local government monthly allocations, in a frantic attempt to curry scarce support in what is expected to be a keenly contested poll.
“I am privileged to know that the money our traditional rulers are receiving is not satisfactory,” Mr. Oke said on Tuesday at a meeting with Oba Gilbert Ogunlowo, the Awosunye of Atosin, during a campaign tour.
“We will make sure that five per cent goes to our Obas to reposition the traditional institution and make it more relevant,’’ the PDP candidate said.
More than any other government tier, local governments, deemed independent in the constitution, are most caged and abused in the Nigerian system with governors taking over elections, finances and appointments at that level.
Governors are known for cornering local government allocations in addition to state funds, and releasing only personnel and overhead cost with a little “pocket money” for the local government officials each month.
Mr. Oke, a former legal adviser to the ruling party at the federal level, is entering the elections against two formidable opponents in incumbent Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party and the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, and other relatively notable candidates.
His offer to the chiefs again makes clear an illicit but well-known practice where governors overrun the local governments will continue if elected.
Mr. Oke said he will place traditional rulers in their rightful position if elected, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
“We are fully on ground and by the grace of God, we will make the difference clear on Oct. 20,’’ he said.