By Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State yesterday, locked horns over unpaid salaries of workers.
While the APC criticised Governor Ayodele Fayose over failure to pay workers salary arrears, the PDP said that the State Governor. Mr Ayodele Fayose was not borrowing money to execute capital projects like former Governor Kayode Fayemi, now Federal Minister of Solid Minerals had done, adding that governor Fayose will continue to be transparent in his handling of the state finances.
APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement on Sunday that the governor had been playing games with the intelligence of Ekiti people since the assumption of office in his programme implementation policy.
“We knew from the outset that Governor Fayose had no programme that could lift Ekiti people out of poverty. “At best, his stomach infrastructure slogan was meant to dishonestly set Ekiti people, particularly workers, against the immediate past government of Dr Kayode Fayemi, which embarked on massive infrastructure development for socio-economic needs of Ekiti people.
It said the governor’s preference for building airport, new market and fly-over bridge contradicted his campaign slogan to “tar stomachs” before embarking on physical infrastructure.
It added that it is sheer opportunism and lack of integrity to deceive the people during campaigns with mouth-watering promises only to turn around to deny them after getting to power to pursue selfish agenda.
“As anti-development politician with an eye on wealth accumulation, Fayose started touting “stomach infrastructure” with the promise never to owe workers salaries because people must eat first before embarking on physical infrastructure.
“Now, the governor has turned full circle, telling workers that they should expect pay three times in a year while embarking on multi-billion naira bridge, market and airport projects,” he explained.
Insisting that Fayose embarked on these projects to feather his nest, Olatunbosun said:
“Even though he criticized Fayemi for borrowing money for development purposes, Fayose has gone to borrow N10 billion to construct a needless flyover while workers and pensioners are being owed between five and six months in arrears.
The money was in a fixed account over a period of time but Fayose has not told Ekiti people how much interest has accrued on the money.
Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, who reacted to the APC claim that the governor borrowed N10 billion to construct Flyover Bridge in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, said “Governor Fayose’s government is not profligate like APC government of Fayemi that took loans to plant flowers that were not seen, construct uncompleted state pavilion and civic centre and build governor’s lodge for the benefit of Fayemi and his wife.”
He said the governor will continue to hold the welfare of workers sacrosanct by taking payment of salaries as his priority, adding that; “The challenges being faced by the government in paying workers salary was as a result of the way and manners the APC government of Fayemi mortgaged the state to irrelevant loans.
“Today, over N900 million is being deducted from Ekiti State allocation monthly and this is because of the loans the APC government took to execute white elephant projects.
“Perhaps, because of the way they used irrelevant capital projects to steal Ekiti State blind, they still carry on with the belief that other people must also be like them.”
On the desirability of the projects, Olayinka said; “To the APC elements in Ekiti State, no project is desirable provided their party is not in power. Before Fayemi became governor, he condemned the Ekiti Airport project the PDP government of Engr Segun Oni started, but in 2013, the same Fayemi blamed the PDP government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan for stalling the Airport project.
“Also, when the magnificent edifice built in honor of Fayemi’s deputy, Late Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka was being constructed, these same APC loudmouths said Governor Fayose was desecrating the woman’s tomb just the same way they said Segun Oni was desecrating Fajuyi’s tomb when he was building the Fajuyi Park.
“We are, therefore, not bothered by their ogogoro induced criticism because we know as a fact that since Fayemi, their leader wasted his opportunity to write his name in the hearts of Ekiti people, they want other people to waste theirs too.”