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The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to beam their searchlights on the finance of the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola . The PDP chairman in Osun State, Mr . Soji Adagunodo, made this call at a press conference in Osogbo on Thursday .

The senator representing the Osun East Senatorial District at the Senate, Ademola Adeleke , and many governorship aspirants of the party including a former Secretary to the State Government , Alhaji Fatai Akinbade ; a former Speaker , Adejare Bello , and Chief Nathaniel Oke ( SAN) , were present at the briefing .

The party said the audited report of the state government which the European Union transparency initiative forced them to release to the public was replete with alleged glaring evidence of financial recklessness .

The PDP chairman said , “For example , the Office of the Governor which is principally made up of the Governor , Deputy Governor , Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff , expended a sum of N6 , 367 , 390 , 350 . 64 in one year . This was higher than the entire money spent on education, agriculture and health in the same year .

“ Of this figure , the sum of over N5 bn and N50 m was spent on overheads in the office of the governor . This was an increase of almost 400 per cent on the sum of N1 . 2 bn spent on the same overheads in 2015. The question is what could be responsible for this astronomical rise in the overhead cost of running the Office of the Governor within 12 months ? How much of this money was funnelled into private pockets and on political patronage ?”

He said the huge money spent by the governor on running his office happened in a year when the state got zero allocation and borrowed over N26 bn.

Adagunodo lamented that it was in the same year that Osun was ranked the fourth in the list of states with the highest domestic debt in Nigeria .

The other three states – Lagos , Delta and Akwa -Ibom, are very high earners from the federation account and internally generated revenue.

The PDP chairman claimed further that Aregbesola according to the audited report , spent over N276 m on the improvement of his office infrastructure in 2016 , while a paltry sum of N1 . 18 m was spent on the improvement of infrastructure in the hospitals in the 30 local government areas and the Ife East area office in the same year .

Some of the other alleged wasteful expenses according to him are: over N10 m spent on the building of a website called the O – JOB portal as well as several millions of naira on the maintenance of an aircraft .

Adagunodo said . “ Another sad revelation coming out from very credible government sources was the approval and payment of an additional sum of N1 bn as variation cost on the construction of three prototype high schools in Iwo , Osogbo and Ilesa .

“ Even though this contract was awarded in 2013 and some of these schools were inaugurated in 2016 , the Aregbesola administration approved an upward review of the contract sum from N4 . 05 bn to N5 . 002 bn in January 2018 . This , to all intents and purposes , is contrary to the provisions of extant financial regulations and principles of accountability . ”

The party chairman said the PDP was compelled to come out with the alleged financial recklessness in order to sensitise the people and to show them why Osun State was in a financial mess with unpaid salaries and pensions .

But the Commissioner for Information , Mr . Adelani Baderinwa , when contacted described the allegations of the opposition party as spurious and baseless .He said the PDP was coming out with these allegations because of the success of the tour of the federal constituencies recorded by the governor .

He urged the people of the state to discountenance what he called concocted lies to tarnish the image of the government and continue to support the ruling APC government which he said had brought unprecedented development to the state .

BIG STORY

2023: Fayemi’s Presidential Ambition Tears Ekiti APC Apart

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The widely speculated ambition of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to run for president in 2023 is causing more than ripples within the ranks and files of the All Progressive Congress in the state.

The APC had endorsed Governor Fayemi for the presidential race, saying the time has come for the president to come from Ekiti, adding that it would no longer play second fiddle in the southwest’s politics.

The party’s state Chairman, Barr. Paul Omotosho through the spokesman, Hon. Ade Ajayi said that the governor has paid his dues in the ruling APC and Nigeria’s political firmament at large, thus deserve to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Nigeria in 2023.

Omotosho said its members will drag the governor into the race, if he refuses to contest, saying Fayemi is eminently qualified to occupy the exalted position considering his intimidating political profile.

But strong indications have emerged that there was a sharp disagreement within the state chapter over Fayemi’s endorsement as some leaders under the aegis of Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum flayed the party’s leadership.

The Forum, in a statement on Monday signed by its Secretary, Prince Bamgboye Adegoroye, which denied endorsing the alleged Fayemi’s presidential ambition, noted that the purported endorsement does not reflect the general will of APC members.

It said the purported endorsement, which was credited to a statement by the APC state Chairman, Hon. Paul Omotoso, was a personal view of the Publicity Secretary Ade Ajayi who represented Omotoso at an event in Ekiti at the weekend.

The Forum added Ajayi only expressed a personal view on the matter and that his views neither represented the position of Omotoso nor that of Ekiti APC.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum has been drawn to a statement credited to Mr. Paul Omotoso on the idea that APC Ekiti State chapter has backed Dr. John Kayode Fayemi for the 2023 Presidency.

“We want to state unequivocally that Hon. Ade Ajayi who represented Mr. Omotoso barely expressed a personal view at a social event, where the convener was absent or at best, the views of a small clique in the party.

“The leaders of APC in Ekiti State are unaware of the idea. Again, we note that Hon. Ade Ajayi’s boss does not even believe that the position should be zoned to South West as expressed on the national platform recently.”

It stressed that all the 17 states in the southern part of the country deserved a shot at the Presidency if it is agreed upon by the national leadership of the party.

“Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum along with other eminent Yoruba leaders will canvass for the opportunity to produce the next President in 2023 from our zone.

“Adoption of an authentic, qualified, well known, humane and experienced Yoruba man is our goal, and we will play our part in accomplishing that task,” the Forum added.

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POLITICS

Tinubu Visits Borno, Says Hindrances To APC’s Promises Should Be Weeded Out

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The National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday asked that divisive forces within the party should be weeded out.

Tinubu, who led some party men to Maiduguri to pay condolence on the government and people of Borno State on the killing of rice farmers by Boko Haram at Zabarmari, said, “Any remaining rats and cockroaches should be sprayed out of the party.”

The party leader, who said he was not in Borno on politics, insisted that the party must live to its symbol, the broom, which signified the importance of unity and works to take out any form of disunity.

Tinubu, who emerged from about an hour of closed-door meeting with the governor, said the covenant of the APC with the Nigerian people was to work together in unity to bring about development and progress.

Tinubu insisted that there was unity in the party, noting that anything that would however work contrary to the progress of the party and Nigeria should be weeded out.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu tests positive for COVID-19

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has tested positive for COVID-19, the state’s Commissioner for Health announced on Saturday.

Akin Abayomi said the Governor is currently experiencing “mild symptoms and fatigue typical of a mild case of COVID.”

In a statement, he added that Sanwo-Olu is receiving treatment and is being closely monitored at home by a clinical team from the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.

“Mr. Sanwo-Olu is doing well on treatment and rest and we are confident that he will recover quickly and clear the virus,” the statement said.

More to follow . . .

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