The Ondo State Chapter of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), on Tuesday slammed the State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu for playing politics with the welfare of the State workforce over the payment of salaries and emoluments saying that he has consistently shows lack of tact, willingness and capability for the task of a governor.
The party which rose from its stakeholders meeting in Akure on Tuesday berated the Governor for being economical with the truth on the actual monthly salary of the workers and pensioners in the state and being silent on the actual monies he met in the coffers of the State from his predecessor.
In an interview with journalists at the venue of the meeting, the APDA Chairman in the State, Chief Banji Akinkuowo, regretted that it was disheartening that Akeredolu had to be arm-twisted into submission by the workers before he could capitulate and agree to pay the balance of the 20% Paris Club Refund for September salary arrears.
His words: “Only in May this year, Akeredolu had told the whole world that he needed N76billion to offset salaries arrears of workers in the state and while giving the break down of this sum, he revealed that of this amount, the salary arrears owed workers by the previous administration for five months amounted to N34.5 billion while #41.5biliion was being owed to retired personnel as gratuities.
“But a simple arithmetic shows that this figure is a mere sham as it does not tally. 34.5 billion divided by 5 months gives a sum of N6.9bilion per month! This is clearly a huge wage bill of about N3 billion difference from the N3.9billion that his predecessor paid every month as salaries inclusive of salaries of political appointees which this phantom figure Akeredolu gave did not capture. Pray, has the workers salaries increased overnight?
“Aside this, the government has consistently pressed the mute button over the revelation by the immediate government that it left N20 billion in the coffers of the State for Akeredolu’s Government. This silence, while not only showing a tacit agreement of the fact that it met money in the coffers, reveals that the governor is playing games with governance and an admission that he isn’t prepared for the serious business of governing the state beyond mere media propaganda and rhetorics.
“No Governor who boats that he was elected by the popular wish of the people should run a secret government like the one we now have in Ondo State.”
While asking the governor to stop a repeat of this imbroglio over salary arrears and face the serious business of governance for the generality of the people of the State, the APDA Chairman urged him to come clean with how much he actually pays as salaries on a monthly basis, the actual number of the workforce, what he met on ground and the actual debt profile of the State to the people of the State once and for all.
“By now, we should be talking of the real dividends of democracy and take Ondo State to a greater height not salary payment palaver. The people of the State are desirous of good governance, provision of jobs for the teeming populace of our unemployed youths; a well thought out agricultural and revenue/ job generating policies that would galvanize the State into a leading agricultural one it was in the past, rural upgrading and well laid out policies for economic growth.”