The All Progressives Congress (APC), and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State have traded words over the plan of Governor Ademola Adeleke to build infrastructures worth N100bn across the State.
While the APC accused the governor of deliberate intention to plunge the state into avoidable financial crisis with an ulterior motive to fleece the state, the PDP described APC’s criticism as “unpatriotic, reprehensible and a display of anti-development anti-people politics for which the opposition is known for”.
It would be recalled that Adeleke unveiled N100 billion development programmes that will span over twelve calendar months.
Commenting on the development, the Chairman of the Osun State APC, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement issued by the party’s Director of Media and Information, Chief Kola Olabisi, in Osogbo, on Monday, described the Adeleke N100 billion development programmes scenario as a scam skilfully designed to enrich some economic buccaneers close to the government.
Lawal explained further that there could not be any other name for the phoney and white-elephant projects but a gross misplacement of priority in the hand of a person statutorily saddled with the responsibility of being the caretaker of the resources of the state.
The state APC chairman reminded Adeleke that since he said he would not borrow a dime to finance the projects, the citizenry deserve the right to know the source of the funding and the modality for its settlement, saying, “what we are talking of is not a family enterprise which activities can be effected under the table”.
He stated that he found the development laughable as the Adeleke administration which could not successfully handle the earlier 332 boreholes it promised each of the wards in the state suddenly woke up to itemize some suspicious projects for execution within one year.
Lawal queried the moral consideration for the Adeleke government which is still hoarding N9 billion Federal Government fuel subsidy removal palliative meant to ameliorate the suffering of the people of the state four months after its payment into the coffers of the state government.
His words: “Adeleke should tell the world the economic importance of the proposed construction of a flyover at Owode Ede if not only to serve his personal ego as a native of Ede.
“Is there any justification for the construction of five flyovers at this time in the history of the state when the state government under Governor Adeleke is yet to come up with its planned succour for the people of the state when some other state governments have been dolling out the second or third tranche of their governments’ support for the governed?
“What sense is therein, for a government which is yet to make a pronouncement on the acceptable minimum wage for its workers as initiated by the federal government, to toy with the plans to build five flyovers in the state at a time?
“Must a state government, that is worth its salt, encourage the flagrant dumping of an individual proposal and embrace same without considering the current financial status of the state?
“Osun is a common patrimony and nothing must be done by her Chief executive and his handlers to throw the state into avoidable eternal debts which would affect even the generations unborn in the state.
“All concerned stakeholders in the Osun project should raise up their voice with a view to condemning the seemingly gang-raping of the economy of the state by some disgruntled elements who are parading themselves as political leaders in the state.
“It is disheartening to learn that the proposed Adeleke N100 bn development programmes are repetitive as they contain some of the projects that he had told the people that he had earlier executed.
“For instance, the rehabilitated/reconstructed schools and digging of boreholes across the state by the Adeleke administration are make-believe which are only appearing on paper.
“We shall not open our eyes and watch you plunder the state in the name of the execution of some unrealistic projects shrouded in doubts and controversies.
“Those who are thinking for the Adeleke administration should cover their faces in shame as they have shown to the citizenry that they have not been driven by patriotism but what they can make from the government to the detriment of the wellbeing of the state.
“If the thinking out there that the whole abracadabra is to stylishly source election fund against the 2026 election, the ploy is less than tidy in the estimation of the right-thinking members of the society”, Lawal vibrated.
Reacting to the APC, Hon. Sunday Bisi, the PDP chairman, said the APC is anti-development, adding that “criticism of its government’s multi-billion naira infrastructure plan is unpatriotic, reprehensible and a display of anti-development, anti-people politics.”
Bisi condemned the APC, stating that the opposition party is playing politics with a development agenda that is widely adjudged to be commendable, long overdue, sustainable, and paramount to the economic revival of our dear state.
The statement reads: ” Reading through the APC statement, we see a party that is in bewilderment and severe pain at the ingenuity, innovation and financial engineering of the Adeleke governorship. We see a bunch of rejected politicians who cannot fathom the depth of strategic thinking that produced the crafting of an ambitious infra plan carefully put together with an eye on sustainability and multiplier effect on expansion of state economy and well being of pur people.
“The PDP government inherited a state with over 95 infrastructural deficits as at November 2022. Our internal state infra audit when PDP took over revealed that the infrastructural decay cut across all sectors education, health, roads, water among others. We then developed an initial emergency plan that led to the complete renovation of 31 schools, 45 kilometers of roads, 332 functioning boreholes, commencement of rehabilitation of water works, rewarding intervention in the health sector and major actions on such roads as Osogbo-Ikirun and the Osogbo ring road among others.
“Despite the accomplishments of the last 11 months, our government under Senator Ademola Adeleke decided to address the infra crisis in a more holistic way, hence the infra plan. We invite the APC to drop its poverty mindset which limited its thinking and plan for the state when it was in power.
“We call on the APC to read the full speech of Mr Governor in which he spelt out the strategies, the projects, the funding plans and sources of such funding. The APC should get educated that not all Governors are interested in diverting public funds as was the practice when the opposition holds sway.
“The opposition, while admitting that the Governor said funding will be without loans, was still confused on how such funds will be generated because under the APC government, its leaders lacked basic understanding of financial innovation and re-engineering. That lack of capacity under the past APC government was deepened by greed and overriding motive of self-enrichment and lack of genuine empathy for the immediate, short, medium and long term well being of our people.
“Let’s ask the shadowy APC chairman in what way is the renovation of schools, upgrade of health centers, provision of water projects, dualisation of roads and utility-driven flyovers to prevent accidents and save lives phony and white elephants projects?
“On sources of funding, the Governor told the state clearly that he has created a project account into which savings from leakages, refund and infra related interventions are lodged. He also narrated belt tightening measures as the government is being run on shoestring budget such that up till now the state cabinet members have no official vehicles. The past APC government left with all functional state vehicles after their defeat last year.
“We also find it curious that the balkanised APC leadership is so uneducated as not to understand the nexus between infrastructure upgrade and economic development of the state. In this 21st century, it is a shame that the opposition does not know that such infra plans generate jobs, boost local SMEs, expand the state economy, drive inflow of investment and improve the livelihood and health of our people.
“Even more curious is the refusal of the APC to acknowledge that the PDP government is clearing its mess of infra deficit, half salary and pension debt while at the same time paying monthly salaries of workers regularly. By addressing pension and half salary issues, Governor Adeleke is already handling palliative issues even outside distribution of food items as there is a close link between the formal and informal workforce in the state.
“For opposition that is married to fake news, let us clarify that only Two Billion Naira was received for palliatives and Seven Billion Naira for Infrastructure intervention. The N7 billion is a drop in the ocean of over one hundred billion naira the state is to spend on infrastructure. Nonetheless , the Seven Billion Naira is saved in the State Project Account.”