IT appears as if the sympathy and transfer of affection for the 11 members of Osun State House of Assembly on the platform of Action Congress (AC) have evaporated so fast, as rights groups, political leaders and opinion moulders have taken them (AC lawmakers) to the cleaners over the secret collection of their shares of the controversial Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
It would be recalled that the party (AC) had earlier mandated the embattled legislators to shun an illegal channel of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) which were reportedly stashed into the personal salary accounts of the individual lawmakers.
The AC also enforced its threat by facilitating the refund of the N55million earlier drawn by its lawmakers and caused them (legislators) to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the interpretation of the procedure, a situation that had compelled the anti-graft commission to invite the entire 26 state lawmakers to Abuja for questioning.
Checks revealed that some of the AC lawmakers were not enthusiastic about their party’s decision on the management of the CDF, but reluctantly abided, when they were threatened with sanctions.
It was gathered that the earlier rejection of the controversial CDF eventually polarized the AC lawmakers into two splinter groups, as one of them reportedly stood with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, who had drawn their shares and devoured it the way they liked, while the other group was still contending with the party supremacy.
Meanwhile, an investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER on the development has revealed that some of the AC lawmakers had mortgaged their salaries for the next four years in lieu of the CDF, but when the controversial fund was contested by the AC, some of the embattled lawmakers found themselves in the cold, because they could not manage their new-found status.
Checks further revealed that the get-rich-quick syndrome has bitten some of the AC lawmakers, who thought that the party may not afford them second chance, and in a bid to acquire wealth, the opportunists among the fold, according to a political pundit, had started holding secret talks with a PDP caucus with a view to benefiting from the robust relationship with Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Investigation has also shown that one of the lawmakers from the Osun West axis had strategically broken the rank of his party in his council, only to be funding the rival PDP and his supporters against the party that put him in the House.
Findings showed that the affected legislator was one of the first set of the AC lawmakers, who compromised their party’s principle on the altar of get-rich-quick syndrome, and he is still in the forefront of the “Operation Dare The Party” recently launched by the AC legislators.
Information at the disposal of OSUN DEFENDER indicated that as the embattled lawmakers were putting up a brave face in the day against their PDP counterparts, as touching the CDF, they were prostrating for the Speaker, Adejare Bello in the night, begging to be given their own shares.
The opportunity was said to have presented itself when the speaker granted OSUN DEFENDER a comprehensive interview, where he maintained that the AC lawmakers were double-faced in the CDF scenario, saying that they would only get their refunded share back, if they could crawl before the governor and expose themselves to the whole world about the controversial funds.
It was learnt that the AC lawmakers, who were badly broke as a result of neck-breaking loan with up-front interests quickly assembled for a nocturnal meeting, where they resolved to throw their party’s stand the into pit and get along with their PDP colleagues.
It was reliably learnt that the lawmakers reportedly booked an appointment with the Speaker, where they swallowed their pride and prostrated for forgiveness, a situation that compelled the Speaker to solicit for them before the governor on the need to release their shares of CDF for them, premising his (Speaker) argument on the budgetary proof.
When they promised to be of good behaviour to the Speaker, they (AC lawmakers) started fraternizing with the PDP, even against their party’s stand, a situation that earned the lawmakers a multi-million naira foreign trip, immediately after the budget presentation by the state governor.
Meanwhile, the medium gathered that the CDF has been released to the AC lawmakers secret penultimate week, and they did not bother to inform their party again, as promised in their good behaviour bond.
Reacting, the AC Director of Strategies, Mr. Sunday Akere in a statement said that the party still stands on its resolve on due process of the CDF, saying that the funds should be channelled through a legitimate means.
“We believe the projects are either done through the government’s certified contractors or the state Ministry of Works. We never opposed the development. Let the government show sincerity in the matter, “said Akere.
Speaking on the development, the state Chairman, Joint Action Forum, Comrade Aderemi Ayanlade (JAF), has described the double-dealing of the AC lawmakers as a marked crass-irresponsibility and unbecoming.
“We knew these people before they were elected and we were not disappointed that they are chasing money around, instead of lawmaking. Now, that their party has found out their true colour, thank God that they would soon be buried in political oblivion for life”, said Ayanlade.
By GOKE BUTIKA