The Osun State chapter of the Social Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to start his anti-corruption war in Osun by ordering a thorough investigation into the financial activities of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.
The SDP said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo, the state capital, on Monday by the state chairman of the party, Mr. Ademola Ishola.
It said the President would be shocked at the level of financial recklessness in Osun State.
The party said it was ready to help Buhari to unravel several alleged financial recklessness engaged in by the All Progressives Congress administration in the state.
It said, “We did not find ourselves in this pitiable situation in Osun due to the dwindling revenue from the federal allocation alone, we are where we are today because of the reckless manners our finances had been handled in the last four years.
“Now that the new government is settling down for work, we want President Buhari whose party has been at the helms of affairs of this state since November 27, 2010 to help us look into how the over N350bn allocated to the state from the federation account had been spent.
“We must know how the over N436bn allocated to the 30 local governments in the state, the N61.7 bn excess crude oil funds and the N14.4 bn SURE-P fund were spent.
“Osun people need to know how the over N43.6 bn of Internally Generated Revenue, the over N400bn loans and the N60bn bond were used by Aregbesola’s government.
“If President Buhari is serious about his corruption campaign, then he must not spare anyone. He should help us to know how much had gone into several abandoned projects that littered the state and the reasons Aregbesola was unable to pay seven months salaries to the state workers.”
The SDP also described the learning tablets known as Opon Imo as a huge fraud, saying a little above 10 per cent of the total number promised had been given out to students in public schools in the state.
It accused the governor of awarding the contract at a very exorbitant price, saying all these contributed into putting the state into its current state of financial mess.
It said, “Morally, is it good for the governor to run the state as a family company? Where are the 150,000 Opon-Imo tablets Aregbesola said will be provided for all students of secondary schools in the state? We doubt if there are 2,000 Opon-Imo tablets in the state today.
“Mr. President, Aregbesola’s government spent about N4bn on his Dagbolu market but the place remains a jungle. The governor spent over N1.2bn on his Moshood Abiola International Airport but nothing was on ground till date apart from the fence.
“Most of the projects done by Aregbesola were at exorbitant rates; for example, the governor used between N750m and N1.1bn to build new schools but we discovered that it will take less than N250m to complete each of the buildings.”
However, Aregbesola, reacting through a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the Osun SDP could not deceive Buhari by simply adding up bogus figures or revenues in order to blackmail the government.
The statement read, “Assuming without conceding that SDP’s figures of revenues that accrued to Osun are even correct, what the party has simply said is that nothing like development work took place throughout the period in question. Where does the SDP want to place the chains of monumental projects that have hallmarked the Aregbesola administration?
“The people of Osun were neither daft nor blind to these achievements, hence, their fanatical support for his re-election despite orchestrated lies by the likes of SDP and its shameless allies like the Peoples Democratic Party. We are not surprised by SDP’s imagined ambition to outdo the PDP in its penchant for fabrication. Expectedly, their ability to lie dug for them their electoral grave.
“For instance, it was PDP that originated such lies as son of the governor being a contractor awarded the fictitious N8bn Opon Imo project, a project that has cost the state less than N2bn so far. So also it was PDP that falsely accused the wife of the governor of being the contractor that got the Osun school uniform project.
“Weak lies such as these that sank the PDP are the same the SDP is regurgitating. But for Aregbesola’s ingenuity and the deep commitment of his administration to a rapid development of Osun, what accrued to the state in form of revenue was nothing compared to massive investment in infrastructure (as can be illustrated by the completion of over 900km of roads before the end of his first term.).”