July 20, 2024

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Aides Defend Corruption Allegation Against Former Oyo Gov. Ajimobi

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Olusakin   Babalola,Ibadan

Political appointees of the immediate past Governor of Oyo state ,Senator Abiola Ajimobi has risen in the defence of their former boss who was accused of official corruption particularly in respect of alleged carting away of official vehicles by his aides.
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Speaking at a press conference in Ibadan on Friday, three of Ajimobi’s former aides decried what they described as campaigns of calumny against their boss and advised Governor Seyi Makinde to face the business of governance.
The trio of Professor Joseph Olowofela,former commissioner of Education, Abiodun Ambali,and  Bolaji Tunji who represented others insisted that due processes were followed in their activities during the handing over.
He warned the incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde to desist from inciting members of the public against the former administration.
Earlier in the week, the state government said it has retrieved additional five vehicles from some aides of the immediate past
Text of their statement titled “Enough of lies, propaganda and outright falsehood”, which was read before journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council Secretariat, advised Makinde to desist from the deliberate campaign of calumny as this could lead to the breakdown of law and  order in the State.
They also advised 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
“It has come to our notice and our investigation has also revealed that there is a deliberate smear campaign against the immediate past administration in the State by the apologists of the present administration. This is in order to destroy the legacies of the immediate past administration and to individually and collectively malign us.
 
“These orchestrated propaganda 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 which had been debunked.
 
“Not only that, the present administration had also 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 the end of the Ajimobi Administration was just over N90b, of which about 35% constituted provisions for arrears of Pensions and Gratuities of Civil Servants. 
 
“”The remainder 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 the Global Economic depression and the fall in Oil prices. 
 
“These include N18b Salary Bail out of 2015, N10b Infrastuture Loan and N18b Budget Support Facility The Debt amount also included N4.3b provision for Salary, which had since been paid. The actual Goverment 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,  bulk of the debt is tied to the $200m (N72b) loan from the World Bank  which makes up the so- called debt profile
Before its tenure ended on May 29, the World Bank had only disbursed just over 25% of the Loan. Disbursements are made only after Clearances and “No Objection’s” 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, finally had been checked for the first time in the History of Oyo State. 
 
However, we have 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.
 
“We are also challenging the Engineer Seyi Makinde administration to tell the people of Oyo State and the whole World; which mechanic workshop these vehicles were 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, then they should tell the whole world the circumstances that led to the vehicles being in the workshop? Lastly, when were the vehicles taken to the workshops?
 
From our own investigations, we discovered that some government apologists are behind the present smear campaign. 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 these deliberate campaign of calumny as this could lead to the breakdown of law and order which we had hitherto enjoyed in the last eight years.
 
“We want to further advise the administration of Gov Seyi 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. These should not be encouraged. 

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