Friday, July 19, 2019 9:35 pm
Former Political Office Holders under the erstwhile Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi have condemned the current Oyo State Government led by Engr. Seyi Makinde of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for a deliberate smear campaign against the immediate past administration of the state.
According to the politicians, the members of the ruling party in the state have decided to destroy the legacies of the immediate past administration and to individually and collectively malign those who served the last administration.
This was among the points highlighted today by Ajimobi’s former aides at a press briefing held at NUJ House, Iyaganku, Ibadan saying that campaigns of calumny against them is a carefully-orchestrated propaganda that started a few weeks ago when the former administration was accused of awarding the Iseyin-Moniya-Oyo road to a faceless contractor at a cost of N2billion per kilometre.
Debunking this allegation, in a speech signed by the former Commissioner for Education, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, former Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji and former Special Assistant, Political, Hon. Abiodun Ambali, the group said also that the PDP government had falsely alleged that the State had a debt profile of N150b, which has been confirmed to be incorrect. “The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, and the Debt Management Office, DMO, put a lie to this. Total domestic borrowings at end of the Ajimobi Administration was just over N90billion, of which about 35 percent constituted provisions for arrears of pensions and gratuities of civil servants”, they added.
The group stated that the rest of the amount was made up of bailouts and interventions extended by the Federal Government to all States of Nigeria, to assist government alleviate pains experienced by the populace as a result of global Economic depression and the fall in Oil prices.
They explained, “These include N18b Salary Bail out of 2015, N10b Infrastructure Loan and N18b Budget Support Facility. The Debt amount also included a N4.3b provision for Salary, which had since been paid. The actual Government borrowings were the State Capital Bond of N3b, almost since paid down, and N8b Commercial Bank Loan, which had been converted into a Bond by the Federal Government. Going further, a bulk of the debt is tied to the $200m, N72b, loan from the World Bank which makes up the so- called debt profile”.
They said, “Before its tenure ended on May 29, the World Bank had only disbursed just over 25 percent of the Loan. Disbursements are made only after Clearances and “No Objections” are issued under the most stringent World Bank Guidelines and only to Project Milestones. The Projects under the Loan are World Class, evident all over Ibadan and has ensured that the devastating flooding that had hitherto claimed precious lives and property, has finally been checked for the first time in the History of Oyo State”.
The Group stated further, “However, we have also decided to respond to the current smear campaign about vehicles alleged to have been recovered from some aides and political office holders. As stated, these are orchestrated campaigns of calumny and cheap propaganda aimed at rubbishing the well-known giant achievements of the Ajimobi administration which we were part of. We have always challenged the current administration to come up with names of people alleged to have taken vehicles away illegally or without justification. Till date, they have not been able to do so”.
They challenged Engr. Makinde to tell the world, “Which mechanic workshop were these vehicles recovered from? Who took such vehicles to the mechanic workshop? Were there no documentation given to the mechanic when the vehicles were received? If there were documentations, what circumstances led to the vehicles being in the workshop? When were the vehicles taken to the workshops?”
The Group, however, alleged some government apologists to be behind the smear campaign against them adding, “Further information also revealed that an individual named Olopoeniyan is prominent. These people have been going around mechanic workshops, waylaying and picking up vehicles alleged to have been illegally taken away. Some of these vehicles have either been boarded or officially taken to mechanic workshops for repairs. We want to advise the administration to desist from this deliberate campaign of calumny as this could lead to the breakdown of law and order which can derail evident peace and security that has been hitherto enjoyed in the last eight years”.
They further advised Governor Makinde to squarely face the serious task of governance instead of embarking on the mundane attempt to malign his predecessor-in-office and paint him and his aides in bad light, among the populace.
“Further, it has come to our attention that the administration has embarked on the recruitment of social media personnel to step up this smear campaign. We want to advise and state further that propaganda and outright falsehood will not benefit the administration and the generality of the people of Oyo State. Empowering touts into taking pictures from mechanic workshop, car snatching on the street under the guise of “retrieving government vehicles” could lead to a situation of anarchy where men of the underworld would capitalise on this untoward behaviour, to snatch people’s vehicles on the road, encouraging brigandage, breakdown of law and order, which had ceased to exist in the State under the stewardship of Senator Abiola Ajimobi”, they concluded.