Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko
By James Sowole
As the Ondo State gubernatorial election draws nearer, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday challenged the incumbent governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, to present the state of the finances since his assumption of office in 2009.
The Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the party, Hon Ademola Ijabiyi, threw the challenge at a news briefing in reaction to the statement by the Director of Publicity of the Mimiko Campaign Organisation that the Agagu’s administration left a debt of N117 billion.
Ijabiyi said Mimiko must give accounts of the state finances because facts have emerged that he would lose the forthcoming election and that it would not be tidy and appropriate to recalled him to answer questions on finances.
“Apart from the fact that the people deserve to know what is going on, he owes it a duty to himself and to the people of this state to put an end to the various rumours, insinuations and speculations that currently surround public finances in this state.
“Besides, we must all anticipate his exit from power by insisting that he open up while he is still there to avoid the inevitable deepening of these rumours and allegations in his absence and to spare his successor the unpleasant task of having to challenge his records in a manner that might embarrass him and give him sleepless nights,” he said.
Ijabiyi stated that Mimiko could not give any explanation on the allegation of the debt when he was challenged before the state House of Assembly, expressing disappointment that the administration keeps repeating the same allegation.
Giving details of the capital projects inherited by the Mimiko administration and the specific amount paid coupled with the N34 billion cash admittedly inherited, Ijabiyi declared that the PDP government under Dr Olusegun Agagu never owed in whatever form.
“We must declare categorically that the PDP government under Agagu never owed a kobo on projects, on salaries, on pensions, or on any other thing whatsoever. It also owed no kobo to any bank. That is why we have been calling on the present administration to come out with details. Mimiko must therefore speak out. It is a duty and not a favour.
“And talking of this cash of N38 billion, the Mimiko administration has claimed that the amount left behind by the Agagu administration was N34 billion. Whether 38 or 34, we demand to know how the money was spent by Governor Mimiko. Rumour has it that a substantial part of it was lost in a deal with the then Intercontinental Bank when Dr. Erastus Akingbola was chief executive. Mimiko must speak out on this,” Ijabiyi stated.
The chairman also challenged the incumbent governor to present to the people of the state how much has accrued to the state from the four major sources of federal allocation, oil producing states allocation, excess crude oil allocation and internally generated revenue.
“The total sum accruing from these sources have been put at N650 billion to date in the life of this administration. This is apart from local government funds. When asked to tell the public what the amount is, the administration’s spokesmen would tell us to go and check them on the internet. Well, I have tried that, and cannot find it. So, they must tell us as we deserve to know.
“Now we can go on and on but the bottom line is that the State Government must tell us how much revenue has so far accrued to the State and how it has been spending it. In particular, it must tell us what it has spent on its capital projects so far.
“It is in his interest to speak out as is the right of the people to know. From the bits and pieces that we have been able to obtain here and there, the Government could not have spent more than one hundred billion naira on all its capital projects put together. So what has happened to all the money? Governor Olusegun Mimiko must tell us,” he said.