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Govts diverting materials meant for the poor – Bishops

By Michael Ofuluem, Osogbo

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Religious leaders in Osun State have described as shameful the refusal by some state governments to disclose the increased allocations received from the Federal Government since petrol subsidy was removed.

The religious leaders consist of Bishops of Catholic, Anglican, African and Methodist Dioceses  and President, Osun Baptist Conference.

They lamented that some state governments have been diverting relief materials and money meant for the poor and repackaging them for other purposes, saying that, “diversion of such fund is tantamount to stealing from the poor and it is repulsive to God.”

This was disclosed in a release jointly issued and signed by the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev John Akin Oyejola; Anglican Bishop of Osun Diocese, Rev’d Dr Folusho O. Babatunji; Methodist Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Rt Rev’d (Dr) Olu Akinola; African Church Bishop of Osun Diocese, Rt Rev’d (Dr) James O. Bamidele and President, Osun Baptist Conference, Rev (Dr.) Olubunmi Obalade.

The theme of the conference which was jointly addressed in Osogbo by the religious leaders was: “The Conversion of Heart and The Wellbeing of Our Nation.”

The statement which was read on behalf of the conference by the bishop, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev John Oyejola, noted that the poor and the vulnerable were still wallowing in abject poverty despite the fact that their state governors have been receiving huge  allocations and relief materials on their behalf.

“There has since June 2023 been a massive increment in the monthly Federal Allocation to all states. We must, however, not fail to note that this increment is not the result of any improvement or boom in the economy.

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“It is majorly the money of subsidy which in previous funding arrangements the federal government directly availed the people to relief the cost of transportation, goods, and services.

“It is totally inappropriate for the government to fail to disclose to the public about such allocation and the mode by which it shall reach the people.

“We therefore remind the leaders and all stakeholders that it is a grave offence before God Almighty to ever deploy such funds for any other purpose than the good of the masses. Diversion of such fund is tantamount to stealing from the poor and it is repulsive to God,” they said.

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