By Sunday Aloba, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused Governor Ayo Fayose of diverting the sum of N8.8 billion Paris Club funds released by the Federal Government to states to offset backlog of workers’ salaries and retirees’ allowances.
The party accused the organized labour in the state of conspiring with the governor in the alleged mismanagement of the funds saying this has left workers and pensioners suffering pangs of hunger even after another bailout had been released to ease the pain.
APC in a statement on Sunday by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, slammed the labour leaders in the state for allegedly looking away in unholy romance with the governor for personal interests.
The opposition described Fayose as “callous” for his alleged refusal to use the released funds to pay workers’ salaries, pensions and severance allowances to former political office holders like his counterparts in other states that benefitted from the same fresh bailout.
The APC expressed regrets that while labour leaders in other states were always in support of workers to enjoy their legitimate benefits, Ekiti Labour leaders were hobnobbing with the governor in an “unholy alliance to protect the governor for their own personal benefits”.
The party spokesperson declared that “nobody is fooled by Fayose’s payment of one month salary out of eight months he is owing workers and pensioners” maintaining that the governor’s claim that the state wage bill had doubled without promotion of workers and fresh recruitment into civil service is unacceptable.
Olatunbosun said: “It is more worrisome that whenever the labour leaders chose to talk on the welfare of Ekiti workers, they always defend the governor who has pauperised the workers despite availability of funds from the bailout received twice amounting to N20 billion.
“Fayose has fixed N5.3 billion of this money in Skye Bank so that he can benefit from the interest that will accrue on the deposit while the remaining N3.2 billion is in the JAC Account.
“Fayose only spent the state’s normal monthly allocation, which has accumulated for many months, to pay one month salary while giving the impression that he paid the salary from the new bailout he collected.”
“It is very callous of Governor Fayose to collect almost N9 billion and refused to pay workers and pensioners who are being owed eight months in arrears but has chosen to deceive Ekiti people again that the monthly wage bill has risen to N5.3b up from the fraudulent figure of N2.6b he had been bandying around before the latest N8.8b bailout was approved by the Federal Government.”
The party said it had been vindicated in its earlier allegation that the governor diverted the first bailout, adding that the “latest callous conduct” by the governor was a confirmation of its view that Fayose had never been sincere and transparent in his financial dealings concerning state resources.
Alleging that the governor frittered away the first N9.6b bailout and refused to account for how the cash was spent, Olatunbosun also accused Fayose of running the state “as a roadside bukateria where he is the only custodian of cash”.
Listing various sums of money that the governor had earlier received from the Federal Government but wastefully spent, Olatunbosun cited the first 9.6billion bailout cash,N10billion loan from Federal Government for capital projects, N1.3b budget-assisted funds and the recent Paris Club refund of N8.8billion (second bailout) allegedly diverted again.
According to him, others include, N5.5 billion refund on Ado-Ifaki road which was confirmed by his own party man, Dayo Adeyeye as Minister of State for Works under former President Jonathan,N2.5billion Ecological Fund, N2b loan for small and medium scale businesses without disbursing it to the target beneficiaries and alleged payment of N250m as monthly personal security vote for the governor, even as crime rate had risen in the state, including assassinations and kidnapping.
He added: “Fayose collects the regular monthly allocation of about N2.5 billion while IGR of the state, according to the governor, amounts to N150 million monthly, yet he cannot not pay workers salary and pensioners.”