Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan

Local Government Area Chairmen in Delta State have accused Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of allegedly diverting Council funds to his own pockets, preventing Council workers from executing projects.

Some of the Council Chairmen who spoke under the condition of anonymity told SaharaReporters that since inception, the Governor has not released in full their monthly salary and that all effort to make him see reason yielded no meaningful result.

Lamenting the situation, one of the disturbed and aggrieved female Council Chairmen, who confided in SaharaReporters, disclosed that the Governor has always had the habit of cutting their monthly allocations without any remorse.

"His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has no human heart, can you imagine that during the period of transition that this is how he treated the Committee Chairmen, by denying them their full Council allocations. In fact, what Council Chairmen are facing now is worst when compared to what happened. The most painful aspect of the whole issue is that he is not even bothered about the plights of the grassroots populace.

"Since we were elected till date we have not received full allocation in any month. We have always confronted him but all he can tell us is that when Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is swore in as governor he may decide to give us in full our allocations but for now we should allow the sleeping dog to lie," the same Chairperson said.

Another Council Chairman from Delta Central, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, stated for over four months the majority of Councils have not been able to pay workers, while in some cases only half salaries are paid. 

"With our investigations so far, as soon the allocations get to the State, the Governor will slash the allocations and release only half of the allocations to Council and will blame everything on the dwindling of revenue. As usual, he will try to deny and exonerate himself but the facts are still there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Council workers across the 25 Council areas of the State under the auspices of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have embarked on an indefinite strike over the salaries owed to them by the Councils.”

President of NULGE, Comrade David Ofoeyeno who called for the strike, said the workers are owed four months salaries, insisting that the strike would not be called-off until the arrears were paid.

"Our people are being owed over four months salaries and this has brought untold hardship to our members." NULGE president stated.

A NULGE official who confided in SaharaReporters disclosed that the truth of the matter was that allocations to the councils were not being remitted but allegedly been diverted by the Governor.

Responding to the allegations, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan stated that Council Chairmen should be blamed for the strike because he is not responsible for the payment of salaries to the Council workers stressing that funds from the Federation account accruing to the Councils are fully remitted to them every month.

Uduaghan however explained that not only the allocations were fully remitted every month that the State Government also augmented the allocation to the tune of N580 million monthly so that primary school teachers could be paid.

“The state government does not pay workers' salaries. All the funds from the Federation Account belonging to Local Councils are fully remitted to them every month. The State government even augments this fund with about N580 million monthly so that primary school teachers can be paid," Uduaghan stated.

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