•Govt Functionaries Go Aborrowing • Debts In Geometric Leap
THINGS are no longer at ease with Osun State, as many projects will have to suffer; arrears and
entitlements have to be paid piece-meal; for the account of the state is in red.
According to investigations conducted by OSUN DEFENDER, the state treasury, is near empty, a situation that has taken toll on the finances of the government and lately the sign of bankruptcy has clearly manifested in all government dealings.
Findings revealed that the political intrigues, spend-thrift and debts servicing are the festering sores that have drained the coffers of the state; a situation that has compelled some political functionaries to go aborrowing.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the fear of the unknown over the litigation, resulting from the electoral dispute that greeted the declaration of the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the winner of last year’s controversial governorship election, was an area that a political pundit pointed at; as a cause of reckless spending.
It would be recalled that the State Action Congress (AC) standard-bearer, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, last year, dragged Oyinlola, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police to the election petitions tribunal that sat in Osogbo.
When it was also reported that one of the respondent’s lawyers, Mr Kunle Kalejaiye was having familiar but secret conversations with the tribunal chairman, Justice Thomas Naron and one other judge, Aregbesola expressed his dissatisfaction with the tribunal’s ruling that further confirmed the victory of Oyinlola and appealed on eleven grounds, why the verdict must be upturned.
Information at the disposal of OSUN DEFENDER has it that the heat the reported secret conversations and the attendant hues and cries, which have succeeded in drawing the attention of the bar and National Judicial Council (NJC) into the probe of the matter has reportedly sent jitters down the spine of the ruling class.
It was learnt that political functionaries in the state are currently embarking on spending spree, with a view to creating financial quagmire for the successive government.
As the governor is contending with the electoral dispute at the Court of Appeal, the 30 local government council chairmen in the state are also negating their fate at the same Court of Appeal.
Besides frequent trips of the governor and his deputy abroad have been adopted lately by the council bosses, who have, in turn, added their children and wives to the protocol list, a scenario that has nearly emptied the state and councils’ treasuries.
OSUN DEFENDER further gathered the state is so broke that the last trip made by the governor to China was greased with dried palm, as the people on the entourage are yet to receive their estacodes.
While it was learnt that mountain of arrears and entitlements are yet to be paid, some members of the last House of Assembly have just collected their severance allowances.
Speaking on the development, Osun State House of Assembly, Speaker, Adejare Bello, who granted an interview with OSUN DEFENDER last week; said that the governor should not be held responsible for the hard times, saying that he (Oyinlola) should rather be commended for adhering strictly to the budget.
“We are in the House to defend the interest of our people and to be frank, the governor is a man, who is conscious of legal implications of his every step. So, we have not found him wanton, except some critics who are hell-bent in blackmailing the government.
However, the State Director of Strategies for AC, Mr. Sunday Akere has aligned with the submissions of the political pundits who attributed the empty treasury to the reckless spending of the political office holders and the misappropriation of priorities of the state.
“Osun State has potentials and potentialities to grow and has a fat coffer, but those who are holding forte at our political posts are reckless spenders, self-centred and visionless. So, what do you expect? We condemn their frequent trips aboard in totality. It has no result and of no economic value, but a conduit pipe through which our collective monies are misappropriated;” said Akere.
In his reaction, the founder of Campaign for Democracy and Rights of the People (CDRP), Chief Amitolu Shittu expressed his disgust about the lean state of the state treasury; saying that the governor and the council chairmen should submit themselves for scrutiny.
“We have an investigation about the state of the treasury and we know how empty it is. This is an unacceptable trend and we are calling for the probe of the expenditure of our governor and council chairmen,” said Shittu.