To establish anti-graft agency
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Chief Bisi Ilaka, has accused the immediate past state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and his commissioners of allegedly carting away many government vehicles, especially new vehicles bought at the end of 2018 and early this year.
This is coming as Makinde state that executive bill would soon be sent to the state House of Assembly for the establishment of an anti-graft agency to fight corruption in the state.
Ilaka made the revelation at the weekend while speaking on an Ibadan-based radio station, Fresh FM, stating that Makinde, his deputy and himself had been riding in their personal vehicles since assumption of office because there are no vehicles to work with.
Ilaka, who was asked to confirm report of 11 missing government vehicles, said the actual number of vehicles the former governor and his aides went away with would be ascertained at the conclusion of forensic verification of government assets.
According to him, “We have only been in government for barely a week and some days, but from what we have seen so far, the scale of theft by the last government is unprecedented. Everybody knows that getting cars is not the problem of the immediate past governor. Why did he take away government vehicles?
“If Ajimobi goes to a car showroom and asks to be supplied 11 cars, they will deliver the cars to him because they know they will get paid. We will take the steps we deem necessary on this.
“It is not limited to him. His commissioners have gone away with vehicles same as the heads of parastatals. There are no vehicles. A lot of these cars were bought by the end of 2018 and early this year.
“When we came in, we felt that most of us who share the political space in Oyo State are one way or the other brothers. So, we don’t want to go out as if we are witch-hunting anybody. But they are forcing our hand.
“We have a responsibility to the people of the state. We need to protect the resources of the state. If we want to replace these vehicles, it will cost the state a lot. Why did they do this?
“Even the local government chairmen went away with fridges and televisions. I can’t understand their mindset. They say a fish rots from the head. If the governor had done this, what did we expect the commissioners, chairmen and heads of parastatals to do?
“We are peeling the onion layer by layer and within the next week or two, we will strive to retrieve a lot of these government properties that they have stolen. There is no other word for it. It is theft. And that is the kind of rape inflicted on the state in the last eight years. It is unfair.”
Ilaka added that some officials in the state Ministry of Justice had told him that only five or six out of the 12 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) the past government said it bought for the judiciary were supplied.
He disclosed that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the state would be empowered “to chase these people down any foxhole they might get into,” stressing that never again would the state be subjected to this kind of stealing it witnessed in the last eight years.
The Chief of Staff however assured the people of the state that Governor Makinde would protect their commonwealth and utilise same for their welfare as well as the development of the state.
But in his reaction, the Special Adviser on Media to the former governor, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, challenged the Chief of Staff to name those who went away with their official cars and stop playing politics with governance.
According to him, “Did the Chief of Staff tell you we bought a brand new official Lexus bullet proof SUV for Governor Makinde? He should not be pedestrian. No one made away with any vehicle. They should not continue to play politics.”
Meanwhile, Makinde has said executive bill would soon be sent to the state House of Assembly seeking the establishment of an anti-graft agency to fight corruption in the state.