MEMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Ondo State governorship elections have challenged Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to account for the sum of over $10m received from foreign donors as cOVID-19 palliatives.
On October 10, Ondo State will go to the polls to elect a new governor in what is shaping up to be a two horse race between Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP. With the rhetoric heating up, the PDP has asked the governor, who is seeking a second term to account for the money received to combat the coronavirus scourge as well as explain what happened to other funds given to him to clear health workers 15 month salary arrears.
Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP national publicity secretary, said: “This is especially given the conflicting denials by members of the state Covid-19 response team over the whereabouts of over N700m intervention fund. Indeed any clean, transparent and upright administration that had not soiled its hand and which has the interest of the people at heart would have ordered an open investigation, secured and channelled the resources to the wellbeing of the people.
“Given its penchant for condoning corruption and wicked embezzlement of public funds, the APC administration in Ondo State had remained less forthcoming, while officials continue with conflicting denials and endless buck passing. This is in addition to the circumstances surrounding the failure of the state to pay certain health workers in the past 15 months, despite their participation in the fight against Covid-19 in the state.”
Demanding answers now, the PDP campaign charged Governor Akeredolu not to wait until after the election to end the corruption in his administration by ordering an open investigation into the N700m. It also challenged him to tell the truth or otherwise over the allegations in the public space that the state received $10m from foreign donors.
Mr Ologbondiyan added: “We challenge Akeredolu to within three days, set up an independent inquiry into these allegations if his administration has no skeleton in its cupboard. It is therefore not surprising that the Ondo people abandoned Akeredolu and pitched their tent with our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in their collective quest to end the misrule which the Akeredolu administration represents and no amount of blackmail, threats and violence by the APC will deter the Ondo people in this resolve.”
Apart from the Covid-19 funds, the PDP campaign team challenged the governor to account for the proceeds of various levies and taxes collected by his administration. It accused Governor Akeredolu of using numerous platforms to fleece the poor masses, including market women, transporters, artisans, small business owners among others in the state.