A member of committee for the Ondo State COVID-19 Response Fund, Mr Segun Olugboyegun, has said the false information trending on the social media is nothing but an attempt to jeopardise Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s second term bid.
He made this known in a statement while exonerating himself and the committee of any wrongdoing in managing the fund. He said: “It is obvious that the campaign of calumny, targeted at Akeredolu, is propelled and driven by the sinister motive to smear him and adversely affect his chances in the October 10, 2020, governorship election.
“My concerns, however, are the references made to my person, image and reputation which I had laboured to build over the years, as well as my pedigree which I value, cherish, and hold dear more than gold.
“It is indeed sad when those driven by the passion, zeal, and enthusiasm to serve the public interest are abused and called names by malevolent elements serving selfish ends and playing base partisan politics with a matter like the COVID-19, which involves life and death.
“Without the timely intervention of the committee, I shudder to think what the figures of fatalities arising from the pandemic would have been in Ondo State.
“Because of the zeal, passion, and enthusiasm with which the members of the committee discharged their assignment, Ondo State recorded the second highest Covid-19 Response Fund contributions coming after Lagos State.
“It is unfortunate when highly placed persons who, by dint of their own hard work and the grace of God upon their life, having attained heights where they feel they owe it a duty to give back to society, are maligned and vilified for doing so.”
He explained that he was never the chairman of the committee: “The chairman is no less a personality than distinguished Mr Kayode Falowo, who is the chairman of Greenwich Trust Limited. I was just one out of six other members of the committee, excluding the secretary.”
Olugboyegun promised that about N700million donations received by the committee in cash and kind would be made public very soon. He said members did not collect salary, remuneration, sitting allowance, perquisites or anything whatsoever. Besides, some members including him also made donations to the fund.
He said the committee appointed an audit firm and other professionals for transparency and accountability: “The same thing was demonstrated when the committee responded promptly to an Abuja-based organisation, Connected Development, which requested for information on COVID-19 donations/interventions under the Freedom of Information Act 2011. The request was made on July 20 and was responded to within four days.”