A former deputy governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore has described the plans by the state government to build an interdenominational worship centre to be named “Open Heaven Worship Centre”, in the state as an attempt to siphon public funds.
Already, the state government has paid out N51 million as compensation to farmers, whose lands would be used for the church expected to be sited at both Odo Iju and Ibodi communities.
But in a swift response, Director of Publicity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi dismissed Omisore’s allegations as unfounded.
Omisore, who is a governorship hopeful under the banner of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also urged the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration to reverse the controversial re-classification of schools policy recently introduced in the state which has pitched adherents of the two major religions – Christianity and Islam against each other – rather than embarking on the project.
The former deputy governor in a statement by his Director of Media and Strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said that “The proposed worship centre is an attempt to siphon taxpayers’ money with no genuine concern for the welfare of the people of the state.
”It would have been more honourable for the government to admit mistake and reverse the new education policy which is causing confusion in the state than erecting an interdenominational centre to hoodwink the Christian community, who are opposed to his disposition towards them”.
He added: “As a governor that claims to believe in equality among all religions, my concern is about how much the government will have to spend to erect mosques and shrines for our Muslim brothers and “Isese” people when the people of the state are wallowing in abject poverty”.
But countering Omisore’s claim, Mr. Oyatomi said: “How can you use the building of an inter-denominational worship centre to siphon money?
“Omisore cannot comment on what is happening in the state because he is not even the candidate of the party. If Aregbesola is not building the worship centre, they will say he is Islamising the state. Most renowned Christian clerics hail from this state and for your information the plan for the building of the worship centre did not start today.
“Aregbesola is unlike them because for 90 months, they wrecked the economy of this state when they were in government. Every kobo that Rauf has earned, in the last 36 months, he has put to use judiciously.
“Rauf Aregbesola is above board and siphoning is just their own language because that is what they do. On the school reclassification policy he said: “Does Omisore want us to leave the schools in the sorry state they left if? God forbid!” the Osun APC spokesman said.