… Clears air on Paris Club refund
APC urges EFCC to investigate theft in govt house
From Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has said only God can decide who succeeds him in 2018.
Fayose disclosed he has taken the issue of his successor to God in prayers and he is waiting for a divine directive on who to support.
He said this in Ikere-Ekiti, when he flagged off the last phase of the dualisation of the town’s main road, as contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, in Ado-Ekiti.
Fayose, who was reacting to a demand in Ikere-Ekiti, that they want to produce his successor, said, “with God, all things are possible. I will advise you to take the matter to the Lord in prayers since you are legitimately qualified like any other town in the state. As a leader of the party, I must create a level playing field for all aspirants. It is God who puts people in positions of authority.
“I am currently waiting on God to give me the directive on who to support for the coming election. As for when I will come out with my choice of candidate, we still have over a year before the election and, I hope by the time we clock three years in office, in October, the coast would have been clearer,” he said.
Regardless, the governor has cleared the air on allegations that his administration has diverted the recent Paris Club loan refund to other means other than what it was meant for.
Fayose described those behind the allegation as frustrated liars. “The fact is that the Paris Club loan refund that came to the state was N8.8 billion out of which N5.4 billion belonged to the state government while N3.4 billion belonged to local governments. Out of our own N5.4 billion, we signed an agreement with the Federal Government that 50 percent of it would go to human capital development by way of gratuities, pensions and salaries all that could be described as renumeration for the labour force. Fifty percent of our N5.4 billion, which is N2.7 billion. So, we used that to settle one month arrear of every entitlements to public workers, civil servant pensioners subvented in our institutions. That is the truth of it.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate a recent theft of $50,000 (N25,000,000) in Ekiti Government House.
APC said the anti-graft agency must fulfil its mandate of checking frauds and investigating questionable sources of money among Nigerians whose lifestyles do not support their sources of income. The party said reports have been rife on social media on alleged theft involving a woman and some domestic aides of the governor.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, disputed claim that the stolen money belonged the governor’s domestic aide, saying it was a smokescreen to hide the true identity of the owner of such huge sums in cash in the Government House.
“When the story of this theft was broken by an online publication, a personal assistant of the governor was alleged to be part of the theft and was punished for his disloyal conduct by posting him from the office of the governor to the governor’s wife office.
“This is a case in which the EFCC must come in because it is a case of money laundering in the Government House of Ekiti State,” he said.
Adelusi agreed the anti-graft agency should, indeed, probe the theft but urged the EFCC to, also, probe Fayose’s predecessor on State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) funds.
“There is nothing bad in the APC asking the EFCC to probe the stolen money since the anti-graft agency can investigate missing under wears in individual homes,” he said.
“The APC shoujld also ask the EFCC to investigate the N850 million SUBEB fund stolen by (former governor, Dr. Kayode) Fayemi, the millions of naira spent on flowers that were never seen anywhere in Ado Ekiti and the billions of naira looted from the state treasury when the party was in power.
“If money was stolen by a steward here in Ekiti, has it not happened elsewhere? What noise has been made? Discerning minds can even begin to think that the APC, as a party, knows what we don’t know concerning incessant stealings in the government house and the police must have to ask the likes of Taiwo Olatunbosun what they know about the $50,000 theft.”
“The remaining 50 percent is in the revenue consolidated account of the government to meet other financial obligations to other sectors of the economy. The staff renumeration and welfare is just one out of several sectors that the state government is financially responsible to.
“So, the issue of money being diverted to other things doesn’t arise here in Ekiti. We do the needful at all times. When we receive any money, we call a meeting of the stakeholders and decide on what to do. We table all our obligations to all sectors and then we prioritise our actions.”
Also, Governor Fayose lauded the National Assembly for standing firm against what he described as “anti-people policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) in recent times.
He said the persistent rejections of President Buhari’s policies by a National Assembly controlled by his party is an indirect way of passing vote of no confidence in the president.
In a release yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said it was heart-warming that the National Assembly helped Nigerians to
prevent the planned data tariff increase, with the National Communication Commission (NCC) suspending the new minimum pricing template for data services by mobile operators in deference to the Senate resolution.
“In the last few months, the National Assembly has come to the aid of the suffering masses of Nigeria by stopping bad policies of the Federal Government.
“Some of such major interventions were the stoppage of the planned data tariff increase, resolution urging the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to suspend the ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders, and opposition of the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for repairs of its runway and the diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport.
“Particularly, even though elementary economists should know that ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders would cause loss of several thousands of jobs and further make vehicles unaffordable for ordinary Nigerians, the federal government adopted the policy without minding its adverse effects on Nigerians.
“Also, they knew that a complete shutdown of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport will endanger the lives of both local and international air travellers that will have to travel by land from Kaduna to Abuja and further jeopardise the economy of the country.
“Instead of closing the Abuja airport completely, why not use the VIP section?”