By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
Are Governor Ayodele Fayose and 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers back in the trenches again?
This is a million dollar question that has emerged following lingering controversy over the entitlements of the belligerent lawmakers.
Fayose and the lawmakers had met recently in Akure where they reached a truce over the lingering clash of interest.
The reconciliatory meeting held at Alagbaka House was said to have been initiated by Fayose in a bid to manage the lawmakers till the end of their tenure this week or next.
Part of the terms of the agreement it would appear is the payment of the lawmakers’ entitlements.
The governor was said to have paid the lawmakers as agreed but a statement by Mr. Wole Olujobi, Special Assistant to Speaker Omirin, claimed that Governor Fayose placed an embargo on the lawmakers’ bank accounts and did not pay them their entitlements.
But the Ekiti State Government has described as falsehood and dishonesty, the claim by the APC lawmakers that they have not been paid their entitlements.
The government said in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo, that the lawmakers duly acknowledged receipt of cheques for their payments last week Wednesday through his office.
The statement read: “We would have remained silent in deference to the agreement reached at the last Monday meeting in Akure that all parties should maintain silence on the outcome of the meeting, especially because the lawmakers said they do not want their leaders to know the outcome of the meeting.
“However, since the lawmakers have chosen not to abide by this agreement by first issuing press statement to deny and reveal what was discussed in the meeting, and now going to the press to say that they have not received any payment, the government does not have any other option than to tell the public the truth and set the records straight.
“The government is by this press statement putting the records straight since the money paid to the lawmakers belong to Ekiti people.
“The payment was made in cheques because the lawmakers pleaded that their accounts should not be credited directly so as to avoid the banks from making deductions for loans taken from the banks.
“Saying that they have not been paid is quite unfortunate and unbecoming of honourable members of the State House of Assembly and this is sad. “We will want to keep our fingers crossed and we wish to caution the lawmakers to adhere strictly to the spirit of the agreements.
“Governor Fayose’s good gesture, aimed at ensuring peace in the state should not be abused.”