The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has asked the state House of Representatives to inquire as to why the state governor, Ademola Adeleke, decided to withhold the November 2022 salaries of all political appointees of the immediate previous governor, Gboyega Oitola.
Affected former public servants, according to the party, are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary to State Government, Chief of Staff, Assistant Chief of Staff, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Personal Assistants, Drivers and others.
Also, the Osun APC chairman revealed that the Ademola Adeleke administration had spent N941,850,000 to buy rice for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) members and leaders in the state.
Osun APC alleged that the money for the rice was part of the local government’s SURE-P fund which aims to provide social infrastructure across council areas in the state.
In a statement by Osun APC Chairman Tajudeen Lawal, which was made available by Kola Bisi, the party’s director, the party revealed that Adeleke had refused to pay November salaries to all legally appointed political appointees in Oyetola even though the latter had earmarked the fund for himself before he left office.
Lawal also disclosed that the party had found a letter in which Adelek, through the Ministry of State for Local Government and Chieftain Affairs directed Adeleke to divert funds intended for the common people of the state towards the purchase of the commodity.
According to the statement obtained on Wednesday, “It was noted that Governor Adeleke willfully and reluctantly refused to pay November salaries to all public servants who worked properly in Oyetola until the end of his term last month.
“There can be no justifiable reason under the sun why Governor Adeleke should be beholden to the salaries of public servants who were properly employed by his predecessor.”
“I adore you to abandon the policy of hate, revenge, oppression and victimization because there is no justifiable reason to withhold workers’ salaries other than evil, insensitivity, lack of empathy and reconsideration.”
He questioned the basis for withholding the salaries of public sector employees when there were records of them working properly and working hard until November 27, 2022, when there was a change in government.
He said, “I cannot understand how we got to this level. Why is Governor Adelek sanctioning a cross-section of Osun State’s salaried employees?”
“Thank God we operate in a democratic society where there are legal checks and balances that are expected of all arms of any government.
“On this basis, it is appropriate for the Osun State House of Representatives to intervene in the case and raise questions as to why Governor Adeleke has done a dismal Christmas to some people in the state by not paying salaries.”
While questioning on what authority the governor of the state agreed to withdraw money from the local government allowance without any recourse to the state parliament, Lawal concluded that “it is clear that the people of Osun State have taken a metaphorical one-chance vehicle with Governor Adeleke in the driving seat to govern in the state.
In response, the Osun State People’s Democratic Party (PDP), through its interim chairperson, Adekunle Akindele, stated that despite clear explanations that financing for the purchase did not stem from the SURE-P fund, which remains intact, Osun APC is obsessed with the news. False just because Governor Adeleke prevented the previous government from plundering the fund.
Akindele stated that the governor continued to receive accolades from the public for his handling of the rice distribution project.
He thanked Governor Adeleke for opening new foundations and putting Osun on the path of sustainable development and good governance.
The trouble started when the governor of Osun State, in a press release on Wednesday, approved the rice distribution commission.
The state governor, through a statement signed by his spokesperson, Ulawal Rasheed, also stated that the Sure-Bi Salim Fund is in the account of the local governments.
Osun: APC, PDP in the war of words over SURE-P funds, rice distribution