NGF: A Symbol of elitism and oppression: OPCI President

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

The National President of Oodua Progressive Care Initiative (OPCI), Dr. Maruff Olarewaju, has decried the high rate of corruption in Nigeria, lamenting that the citizens have suffered for too long a time under the weight of corrupt and incompetent leadership.

The OPCI President, in a statement on Thursday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said: “The Nigerian Governors Forum, rather than serving as a beacon of hope and progress, has become a symbol of elitism and oppression. It is a stark reminder of the stark disconnect between those in power and the masses who suffer under their rule.

“The most glaring example of this disconnect is the issue of minimum wage. Despite the passage of the Minimum Wage Act in 2019, which mandated a minimum wage of N30,000, 95% of governors have refused to implement it. This is a clear demonstration of their disregard for the welfare of workers and the most vulnerable members of society.

“Now, as workers clamor for a new minimum wage to keep pace with the rising cost of living, the governors are poised to sabotage it once again. Their actions are a stark reminder that they are more interested in perpetuating their own power and privilege than in serving the people who elected them.

“Enough is enough! It is time to cancel the Nigerian Governors Forum and hold these individuals accountable for their failures. We demand a new era of leadership that prioritizes the needs of the people over the interests of the elite. We demand a government that works for all Nigerians, not just the privileged few.

“The time for change is now. Let us rise up and demand a better future for ourselves, our children, and our country.

“Furthermore, we condemn the deliberate neglect and marginalization of the third tier of government, the local government, by some governors. This is a clear attempt to consolidate power and control, and undermine the autonomy and effectiveness of local government administration.

“We demand that the joint account operated by governors and local governments be abolished, and that all governors be held accountable for the allocation and utilization of local government funds. This will ensure transparency, accountability, and effective service delivery at the grassroots level.

“It is unacceptable that governors continue to usurp the powers and resources of local governments, stifling their ability to provide basic services and development to their communities. We call on the federal government to take immediate action to address this anomaly and ensure that local governments are empowered to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.”

Dr. Olarewaju has, therefore, demanded the abolition of the joint account and the establishment of a separate and independent account for local government funds, urging the direct allocation of funds to the local governments, without the interference of state governors.

He also advocated the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of local government funds, while calling for the
prosecution of any governor found to have mismanaged or embezzled local government funds

“We will continue to mobilize and demand action until our demands are met and local governments are empowered to serve the people,” he added.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *