Ondo Poll: Tension As Akeredolu, Ajayi Bitter Bickering Soars Over N750M Funds

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  • Akeredolu: My Deputy Is An  Unstable, Greedy and Treacherous Character…
  • Ajayi: Akeredolu Collect N750m Monthly As Security Vote, Run Ondo As Family Affairs… 

By Hamilton Nwosa(Head, The New Diplomat’s Head of Polling, Research and data desk)

With seven days to the October 10th Ondo governorship election, the bitter bickerings between incumbent Ondo  State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi, have escalated beyond control.

The soaring brawl stems from their disagreement over the appropriation, disbursement and utilization of public funds including a N750Million monthly security vote and contracts for the development of the Oil-bearing communities  in the  Coastal areas of the state.

Ajayi  who was the first to fire the first salvo  accused Akeredolu of  deliberately master-minding the underdevelopment of coastal areas through mismanagement and wrong deployment  of a determined 13 percent derivation meant to the develop the Oil-producing communities of the state.

However, Governor Akeredolu  who would not take such accusation from his deputy, accused Ajayi of being the main contractor handling all major contracts at the Ondo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Commission (OSOPADEC). Governor Akeredolu also accused his deputy of being a traitor, an unstable character  for  betraying him politically despite receiving N13m monthly from him as he authorized for his upkeep.

According to a statement by Ajayi’s media aide,  Allen Sowore,  the deputy governor averred that the N13m  monthly disbursement approved by Governor Akeredolu was not a  personal gift  meant for his personal use but a standing approval meant for the smooth running of his office as a deputy governor.

Ajayi claimed that he normally receive about  N12m monthly. In his words, this fund is used as  imprest for his office as a deputy governor, allowances of office staff, fuelling of vehicles, adequate care of his official quarter and upkeep of his aides.

Akeredolu’s estranged deputy governor further alleged that the N12million pales in significance when juxtaposed with  Akeredolu and members of his family’s monthly receipts from the coffers of Ondo state government.

He claimed: “For instance, the Governor gets a security vote of N750million every month. He, Akeredolu, also gets an imprest of about N150million.

“His wife, though occupies no constitutionally recognised position, takes an imprest of N15million per month. Apart from this, she collects an additional N11million naira from the Ministry of Women Affairs, which she runs like a potentate.

“Babajide, Akeredolu’s son, is also not left out in the pillage that Akeredolu and his family is visiting on Ondo State. He too takes a whopping N5m monthly and rips off the state by taking unbelievable commissions as a consultant to the State on almost every imaginable areas.

“All these are apart from millions and millions they get from inflated contracts awarded to family members and lackeys. Sadly, Governor Akeredolu has consistently dragged himself and the office of Governor through the mud of insouciance, discourtesy and disrespect.

“These acts of indecorum must stop. This is a notice to Governor Akeredolu that two can play the game. The Deputy Governor is of the view that indiscretion and vacousness are attributes that should be alien to holders of high office.”

However, Governor Akeredolu, in his reply via a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Segun Ajiboye, explained that the N750m security vote claims by Ajayi is a clear indication of how treacherous, unstable and comic Ajayi has become as a politician.

Akeredolu explained his own side thus: “The general public is urged to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act to interrogate both statements by Mr Governor and Ajayi.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the State bureaucracy, which process such payments is very available to confirm the veracity or frivolity of either of the statements.

“The October 10 governorship election is between integrity and the absence of it. The patent greed which has provided motivation for the treachery and perfidy of Ajayi appears to have created further paths of dishonesty to oil his political misadventure. Succinctly, he is misled my his mind of greed.

“By his antecedents, Agboola Ajayi would have wittingly provided evidence of the payment of such huge amount even before now if it was true.”

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