The Oyo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the decision of its party-led government to ask the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to repatriate the loots of two former governors currently being tried by the commission was to ensure that the developmental projects being carried out by its administration were not stalled by paucity of funds.
This was disclosed Sunday in a statement issued by the party’s state Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Kolawole, in reply to criticisms of the move by those he described as “surrogates of the former governors.”
According to the ACN, considering the limitless funds available to government and the need to ensure that the projects were not stalled, government had to look within to ensure that all monies belonging to the people, wherever they were trapped, were collected and spent on the people of the state.
While reacting to one Hon Theophilus Oyewole, who alleged, in a recent newspaper publication, that Ajimobi had of recent started attacking Senator Rashidi Ladoja, whom he alleged helped his government to stabilise, Kolawole said concerning the state executive council resolution, which demanded the repatriation of the state funds from the EFCC, the Ladoja surrogate was ignorant of the composition of the council, which came up with the resolution.
"The executive council which made that resolution has two Accord Party (AP) commissioners, an Action Alliance and ACN commissioners, former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members and many technocrats. So it could not have been targeted at any individual but the issue concerned - repatriating Oyo State money - so as to enable it to be expended on the people of the state from where the money was taken in the first instance - was a matter that transcended individuals," said the ACN.
On the allegation that the removal of the Accord Party caretaker chairman of Ona-Ara Local Government was political, the ACN said that no governor in the history of Oyo State had demonstrated as much political tolerance and accommodation of the others as Ajimobi is doing as he has in his cabinet former PDP stalwarts, AP, AA as commissioners, Special Advisers, members of the various boards and Accord Party members as Caretaker Council Chairmen.
"The governor has done what every noble gentleman will do by, in spite of the fact that Ladoja would never have done what Ajimobi has done if their roles were reversed, giving Ladoja unprecedented space in his government. This man deserves kudos and not invectives from Accord Party men whose master is known for political intolerance," said the ACN.
The ACN said that when Ladoja was governor, during the local government election of 2003, a Dr. Joshua Akintaro of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) won the chairmanship seat in Ibarapa East local government, in spite of the political fraud perpetrated by the PDP government of Ladoja.
It said not only was Akintaro not sworn in along with others, even when the election tribunal and the Appeal Court affirmed him as the duly elected chairman, he was not sworn in and it took the advent of former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, during his eleven month in office, to have Akintaro sworn in.
"The same intolerance of the Ladoja government for the opposition was demonstrated at the Ibadan North West when Bosun Ajuwon of the AD won the chairmanship seat of Ibadan North West. We all know what happened that denied Ajuwon of his duly elected position," said the ACN.
On the demolition of illegal structures going on in the state capital, the ACN said that Ladoja and his AP loyalists do not have the moral right to condemn its party-led government.
"We have challenged Ladoja in an earlier release to deny that he demolished a church and a construction company office on Ring Road, demolished shops at Orita Aperin-Elekuro, Orita Aperin-Adesola, Orita Aperin-Adekile and Academy Under Bridge roads. What this means is that, he desired the now highly applauded Ajimobi's urban renewal effort but lacked the political will to implement it. Worse still, we don't have it on record that Ladoja ever built a single shop for market women as Ajimobi is building thousands of such at the moment" it concluded.