3 October, 2020
By Osagie Otabor, Akure
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his estranged deputy, Agboola Ajayi, yesterday renewed their hostilities ahead of next weekend’s governorship race with the governor saying the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) candidate was dishonest in his allegations of corruption against him (Akeredolu).
Ajayi accused Akeredolu of causing the underdevelopment of the coastal areas by alleged mismanagement of 13 per cent derivation earmarked for the region.
Akeredolu accused Ajayi of being a major contractor of the Ondo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Commission (OSOPADEC).
The deputy governor, he added, is also a betrayer despite paying him N13 million monthly.
Ajayi, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, said the N13 million was not a gift for his personal use.
He said he used to collect N12 million monthly, which included imprest for his office, allowances of staff, fuelling of vehicles, care of his residence and welfare of his aides.
The Deputy Governor said it was nothing in comparison to what Akeredolu and his family collect from the state’s coffers on a monthly basis.
He said: “The governor gets a security vote of N750 million every month. He, Akeredolu, also gets an imprest of about N150 million.
“His wife, though occupies no constitutionally recognised position, takes an imprest of N15 million per month. Apart from this, she collects an additional sum of N11 million from the Ministry of Women Affairs, which she runs like a potentate.
“Babajide, Akeredolu’s son, is also not left out in the pillage that Akeredolu and his family is visiting on Ondo State. He too takes a whopping N5 million monthly and rips off the state by taking unbelievable commissions as a consultant to the state on almost every imaginable area.
“All these are apart from millions and millions they get from inflated contracts awarded to family members and lackeys.
“Sadly, Governor Akeredolu has consistently dragged himself and the office of Governor through the mud of insouciance, discourtesy and disrespect.
“These acts of indecorum must stop. This is a notice to Governor Akeredolu that two can play the game. The Deputy Governor is of the view that indiscretion and vacuousness are attributes that should be alien to holders of high office.”
Governor Akeredolu denied all the allegations.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, the governor said the N750 million security vote allegation was a true reflection of the unstable and treacherous content in Ajayi.
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He said:”The general public is urged to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to interrogate both statements by Mr. Governor and Ajayi.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the State Bureaucracy which processes such payments is very available to confirm the veracity or frivolity of either of the statements.
“The October 10 governorship election is between integrity and the absence of it. The patent greed which has provided motivation for the treachery and perfidy of Ajayi appears to have created further paths of dishonesty to oil his political misadventure. Succinctly, he is misled by his mind of greed.
“By his antecedents, Agboola Ajayi would have wittingly provided evidence of the payment of such huge amount even before now, if it was true.”
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