Grassroot Politics: Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose buying Kolanut at King’s Market in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday during his visits to the market women.
The group, which accused the Governor of misappropriating the said sum, also asked him to explain the true wage bill of the state, which he claimed was N2.6 billion instead of N1.8 billion allegedly contained in all the documents from the office of the Accountant General of the State.
The group advised Ekiti electorate to vote massively for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi in the July 14 election, regretting that the state has lost its values under the present government.
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, its Coordinator, Mr Olalekan Soyombo, said available statistics from the Federal Ministry of Finance revealed that Ekiti had received an aggregate of N223.99 billion as allocation in the last 43 months after tax and debt deductions, querying why Fayose had found it difficult to pay salary and pensions for the past eight months.
Soyombo said it was so pathetic that the State has made an aggregate of N17.2 billion on an average of N400 million monthly under Fayose as IGR, lamenting that the governor allegedly kept the accrual secret
He said: “Putting the IGR and federal allocation together in the last 43 months, the PDP government has managed N251.19 billion, outside the Paris Club refunds, capital funds, 13 month budget support funds, excess crude oil among others that this government got under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
“Verifiable facts indicated that the state wage bill is N1.8b inclusive of political appointees on consolidated salary structure. This equals N77.4b only for 43 months. When you subtract the wage bill from the allocation and add to IGR, the state is left with N173.7billion.
“If we may ask, what then is making the state government to deny civil servants and teachers their salaries and wages in spite of all these huge resources?”, he asked.
Soyombo also lampooned the government for increasing the tuition fee in Ekiti State University to as much as N180,000 in a poverty-stricken State like Ekiti, saying this was smacked of insensitivity.
“At various levels, Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof Kolapo Olusola had been approached by many unions and professional bodies, to use his good office as the official superintending over the ministry to intervene on behalf of the students, but unfortunately they decided to embark on unlawful arrest and detention of the student leaders.
“As we speak today, a lot of students have dropped out of school, because they can’t afford such humongous fee.
“It is even more disheartening that there is no functional scholarship and bursary facilities that could enable indigent students to have access to education like they did under former Governor Fayemi”, he said.
The group described Fayemi as the most prepared and one with deep knowledge of how the state could be best governed to bring democratic dividends to the populace.
“Dr. Fayemi is the most prepared, most experienced and most reliable in changing the negative narrative that has been with Ekiti under this government.
“Based on this, we will embark on statewide rigorous campaign and mass mobilization with the view of ensuring his victory in the coming governorship election, in the interest of our people and for the noble cause of restoring the glory and values of Ekiti”.
Allegation spurious, govt replies
Refuting the accusation, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, described the allegation as unfounded, saying at no time did the government receive N3 billion as monthly allocation since Fayose assumed office, saying government didn’t get as much as they claimed.
“Even at a time, we were getting as low as N1.5 billion when the wage bill was undulating between N2.5 and N2.7 billion. That is why we are paying in arrears.
“It is worrisome that the government has been spending over 90 per cent of the allocation on payment of salaries and pensions and the fact that the allocations were too paltry accounted for why we have been unable to pay up”.
On the State IGR, Ogunsuyi said: “Government has not been running any secret account. How do you think Governor Fayose has been able to construct the flyover , did dualisation in eleven councils and tarred roads in some towns even when allocation was not enough to pay salaries?
“The governor was able to do all this through efficient and prudent management of our resources, I mean the ones we got internally and those from the federation account”, he stated.