[By VICTOR NZE]
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sunday, asked candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to explain to the people of the state how he disbursed over N700 million intervention funds meant for Ondo.
According to the PDP’s National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship Election, this has become necessary ‘especially given the conflicting denials by members of the Ondo COVID-19 Response Team over the whereabouts of over N700 million intervention fund.’
The allegation comes on the heels of the forthcoming October 10 governorship election in the state which hitches the incumbent Akeredolu against his main rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.
In a statement issued by the Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee of the party’s campaign body in the state, Kola Ologbondiyan, who also doubles as its National Publicity Secretary, the PDP charged Akeredolu to speak out on the alleged diversion of billions of naira COVID-19 intervention funds received by the state.
The party explained that the call on the governor is predicated on alleged diversion of COVID-19 palliative funds by certain officials of the Governor Akeredolu-led self-serving administration.
“The PDP campaign described as indicting, that Governor Akeredolu, on whose shoulders the burden of the wellbeing of the people lie, had failed to speak out on this alleged fraud.
“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, secure and channel 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.
“Our campaign charges Governor Akeredolu not to wait until his inevitable defeat at the poll to end the corruption in his administration by ordering an open investigation into the N700 million as well as the truth or otherwise in the allegations, in the public space, that the state received $10 million from foreign donors.
“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.
“We challenge Governor Akeredolu to within three days, set up an independent inquiry into these allegations if his administration has no skeleton in its cupboard.
“Furthermore, our campaign challenges Governor Akeredolu to account for the proceeds of various levies and taxes collected by his administration, using numerous platforms to fleece the poor masses, including market women, transporters, artisans, small business owners among others in the state,” the PDP statement read.
Concluding, the party said it ‘it is therefore not surprising that the Ondo people abandoned Governor Akeredolu and pitched their tent with our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), 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.’
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