I Did Not Take Delivery of Ofu Palliatives – Sacked Kogi Council Boss, Atawodi, Speaks Out

by Ohepo Ohepo

Honorable Hassan Atawodi, recently relieved of his duties as the Transition Chairman of Ofu Local Government Area, has shared insights into the circumstances leading to his dismissal. The announcement of his termination was made by the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Folashade Arike Ayoade, through a statement from Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, citing the alleged misappropriation of local government palliatives as the cause.

In a conversation with journalists, Atawodi attributed his removal to the disfavor of certain political figures within his local government. He refuted the claims of diverting palliatives, clarifying that the relief items meant for Ofu LGA were never in his possession. “How can I divert what was not given to me?” he questioned, revealing that a clearance letter, essential for collecting the palliative, was withheld from him due to “orders from above.”

Atawodi recounted the challenges he faced from the onset of his appointment, suggesting his selection was not welcomed by some influential local government members. He detailed the hurdles encountered in appointing his team, which led to complaints and demands from local leaders that he had not sought their counsel. These disputes extended to allegations of him engaging opposition party members, prompting a directive to retract his appointments.

Despite complying with the demands by publicly dissolving his appointed aides, Atawodi’s troubles persisted. He vehemently denies the allegations of palliative diversion and urges Governor Ododo to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. He narrated his attempts to secure the palliatives from the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, only to be informed of a directive excluding him from the distribution process. Despite efforts to liaise with the Deputy Governor for the release of the palliatives, his endeavors were unfruitful.

The palliatives, according to Atawodi, were eventually allocated to other local government officials without his involvement, raising concerns about the transparency and fairness of the distribution process. He lamented the lack of opportunity to ensure the palliatives reached the intended beneficiaries, emphasizing his commitment to the welfare of his community.

Reflecting on his experience, Atawodi views the political maneuvering leading to his ouster as a divine will, albeit expressing dismay at the allegations against him. He maintains his innocence and calls for a fair inquiry into the real reasons behind his removal, especially since the palliatives in question were never under his control. Atawodi’s narrative underscores the complexities and challenges of local governance, particularly in the face of political rivalries and accusations of corruption.

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