…PDP denies allegation
By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has accused Governor Ademola Adeleke of using the local governments SURE-P funds, meant for the provision of capital projects at the grassroots to buy Christmas rice for members of his party.
This followed the approval by the governor on Wednesday of the composition of a committee for the distribution of rice during the yuletide season.
Adeleke, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed said 40 bags are to be distributed per ward and were purchased at N36,000 per bag from Egbe Olowo in the state.
He said that the distribution committee membership per ward is made up of a member of the League of Imams, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Traditional Religion, PDP, APC, TOP (The Osun Progressives) and a pensioner/retiree.
The governor directed that beneficiaries must cover all sectors of the state saying he remains committed to cushioning the effect of the hard time on all sections of Osun society.
But, acting Chairman of APC, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement signed by the party’s Director of Media, Kola Olabisi in Osogbo, alleged that Governor Adeleke has swindled the people of the state by spending N941.8 million to buy rice for the members and leaders of the PDP in the state.
Lawal said it was disturbing, worrisome and disheartening that a state governor that has spent barely three weeks in office could deep his hand into the kitty of the government without recourse to the state House of Assembly, more so when the money involved is slated for capital projects.
He alleged that the APC stumbled on a letter where Adeleke, through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, directed the diversion of the money meant for the generality of the people of the state.
The APC chairman noted that the rice purchasing saga was an indication that Adeleke is a political neophyte who knows next to nothing about governance.
Lawal asked Adeleke on whose authority he dipped his hands into local government funds without any recourse to the state House of Assembly.
“It is obvious that the Osun State people have boarded a metaphorical one-chance vehicle with Governor Adeleke in the driver’s seat of governance in the state.
“When did the confused Governor Adeleke defreeze the government accounts in the state as it was contained in one of his obnoxious Executive Orders that he reeled out on the day of his inauguration?
“It’s a pity that as usual, Adeleke has missed it again as he succeeded in exposing himself as a total stranger to governance.
“What right has the governor to use the local government SURE-P fund meant for the provision of capital projects at the grassroots to buy Christmas rice for the members of his party?
“Why was he denying before now that he would never spend the government’s money to advance the cause of his political party and its members?
“Why has Adeleke been running the affairs of the state as if it is an enterprise of his family in Ede?
“Who owns the Hill Crest Agro-Allied Industries Limited, Zenith Bank Account number 1014686758 into which Adeleke directed the money for the rice to be paid.
“Adeleke should also be on hand to explain to the members of his party in particular and the people of Osun in general why he contracted out the rice supply to a Kwara State-based company owned by one Serah Alade that has a robust relationship with the former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the governor’s elder sister, Mrs Dupe Adeleke-Sanni, when there are copious rice dealers in Osun State?
“Why does Adeleke think that he has the unilateral limitless power and authority to frivolously dip his hands into the local government covers in order to satisfy the members of his party?
“The people of the state need to be extra-vigilant with this strange and awkward approach to governance so that the gains of yesterday would not be avoidably eroded,” Lawal said.
But, the governor, through Rasheed said the government did not touch the Sure-P fund, describing the statement credited to the APC chairman as “shameless lie and false reports.”
Rasheed said that the present administration “is not a thieving government and will not in any way follow the path of the past”, adding that all actions so far taken and that will be taken are in line with due process, state regulations and extant laws.
He said the Adeleke family has consistently been distributing food items to Osun people for the past several decades.
“The philanthropic family with one of its own as the state governor is determined to elevate the tradition of giving as a state policy,” he added.