Obasanjo who spoke at theInternational Conference on Politics, Security and Development held at Babcock University, Ilisan, accused state governors of stealing council funds under the pretext that they have done something for the councils or on their behalf.
According to him, as soon as the Local Government Allocations were released from the Federal allocation, the government simply deduct from the source, whatever amount they claimed were spent on behalf of the Local Governments.
He recalled that he initiated Local Governments reforms in 1976 to make the LGs autonomous, functional and developmental, lamented that once such money were illegally deducted by governors, no LG chairman dare questioned or challenged such illegality.
Reading from his keynote address, the former President said good leadership at the state and the local government levels with integrity, dedication and lack of corruption was what could make local governments work to achieve their purpose for the people.
Obasanjo had in his keynote address said, “An effective, efficient and performing local governments system and operation will enhance delivery of dividend of democracy and governance in Nigeria.
“Not allowing local governments to work and stealing their funds from source by states is one of the greatest disservice of all political parties in the present dispensation of our democratic experiment.
“In fact, experiences in many states of the federation have shown that local government administrations have become the most constitutionally-abused matter in the country since the 1999 Constitution became operational. Only a handful of states had held local government election. “Others have carried on as if it is legal to run local governments without the Constitution that created them.
“Most state governors floated the idea of appointing transition committees comprising of their surrogates to oversee the affairs of the councils. The trend, sadly has been maintained in some states till now. “In others where the polls had been conducted, the governors, in connivance with corrupt electoral officials subservient to the governors and ruling party committed malpractices which make mockery of the process.”