The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Osun state chapter, yesterday described Governor Rauf Aregbesola alleged approval of N50 million for fireworks and Christmas decorations in some major towns of the state as “wasteful spending and misplacement of priority”.
Since his administration was inaugurated in 2010, Governor Aregbesola approves funds during festive seasons for adornment of strategic places in Osogbo the state capital and some major towns with lightings decorations and fireworks.
But the state has experienced difficult financial constraint in recent times with workers being owed several months of salaries and contractors abandoning project sites, due to paucity of funds.
The financial quagmire the state is in informed the PDP’s decision to fault the Aregbesola administration’s plan to spend scarce resources on Christmas decorations.
The PDP in a statement issued in Osogbo by its Director of Media and Publicity, Prince Diran Odeyemi, claimed spending as much as N50 million on fireworks and lightings when workers in the state are being paid half salary with 5 months’ salary outstanding, “is absurd, a waste of scarce resources that suggests some people are hiding behind the project to steal public funds”.
The statement further reads: “Why would a sensitive governor at this critical period be planning to expend such a huge amount, that is only N5million short of the net Osun allocation after deductions of all debts for month of October, on fireworks, what are we celebrating in Osun?”
“In the past, Mr. Aregbesola had used this particular means to waste public funds and no one dare question him. But at this point that federal allocation of four years’ time had already been spent by Mr. Governor since last year August, then we are taking it upon ourselves to expose the shady deal”, it added.
The Osun PDP advised that, “if truly no one would benefit from the contract sum, the government should immediately suspend the plan because what people in Osun need at the moment is not Christmas decorations but their salary to buy food”.
“Obviously, Government House is not lacking food and other basic necessities. However, Mr. Governor should know majority of homes in Osun could no longer afford three square meal, no thanks to capital flight, irregular payment of salaries, non-payment for services rendered for government and poor patronage of local contractors by the present administration. In the light of these, Mr. Aregbesola should give pay workers salary and not fireworks through which some people will milk the state”, the statement concluded.