The Ekiti State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed Governor Ayo Fayose’s comments that the state’s share of the ‘bailout’ ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari is the ‘legitimate’ earning due to the state from the Federation Account and not a favour.
The party described the governor’s comment as “an act of ingratitude taken too far, irresponsible statement and an attempt to deceive Ekiti people and shortchange workers who are still owed arrears of salaries, allowances and bonuses”.
The APC, in a statement yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said while other governors, labour unions and workers were thanking the president for bailing out states, Fayose chose to grandstand and attempted to down play the good gesture.
The APC challenged Fayose to tell the people what he planned to do with the fund, saying the governor had done little to offer acceptable explanation on how he had managed the state’s finances since coming to power last October.
Olatunbosun said: “His statement that Ekiti wage bill is N2.6billion has given him away as a liar who wants to shortchange Ekiti people again.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the state’s wage bill is N1.6 billion and if we include subventions to higher institutions, pensions and political appointees’ salaries which is N600 million, everything amounts to N2.2 billion. We wonder where Fayose got the figure of N2.6 billion.
“We have said it many times that Fayose is paying some election contractors and he has not denied this categorically. His latest inflation of the wage bill is to prepare workers’ minds that he would not use the bailout fund to pay backlog of salaries and allowances.
“We are aware that Fayose is yet to pay last September salary, last year leave bonus, June salary, March to June co-operative deductions, core subject and rural allowance from March to June while he has not released four months subventions to the state university. He also owes pensioners a backlog of allowances as well as traditional rulers.
“Fayose’s claim that the bailout fund is the state’s entitlement is very unfortunate as the fund is not Ekiti State allocation from the Federation Account but a special intervention fund for which he is supposed to be grateful to the President.
“His mentor, former President Goodluck Jonathan, did not give such bailout to any state. This has revealed that Fayose has not stopped his hate campaign against the President even after electoral campaign is over. At any given opportunity, Fayose has continued to lambast and embarrass the President.
“Fayose’s outburst is ingratitude of the highest order which does not represent the collective opinion of Ekiti people, who are always appreciative of good deeds.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should be praised for directing that all money should be paid into the Federation Account from where the bailout money came from. This is a result of his anti-corruption drive.
“While we apologise to President Buhari on behalf of genuine Ekiti people and thank him for the bailout fund, we urge Ekiti workers to be vigilant and monitor how Fayose spends the fund. Anything short of paying the backlog of their salaries and allowances should not be accepted”.
Reacting to the opposition’s statement, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged the governor “not to bother himself with the APC’s antics”.
The ruling party in the state further urged Fayose to “avoid the unnecessary distractions and nuisance the opposition has turned out to be”.
The Ekiti PDP Chairman, Idowu Faleye, who made the party’s position in a statement yesterday, hailed Fayose for pursuing his development projects “in the face of the war against him”.
Faleye said: “It could only take a courageous man to still have time to think about the development of his state with the kind of war waged against him by the outgone APC lawmakers”.
Faleye described the actions of the APC in the state as enough indices to truncate democratic settings and cause wanton destruction of life and property.
“We commend the governor for his astuteness, bold steps and love for the people of Ekiti State inspite of the confrontations by the black minded fifth columnists and agents of retardation. What we are saying is that the governor should not bother himself with the antics of the APC”, Faleye concluded.