By Victor Ogunje
The last is yet to be heard on the controversy trailing the alleged sale of Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that the Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s administration in the state was being deceptive and economical with the truth on the issue.
The Ekiti State chapter of the opposition party and Fayemi at the weekend exchanged verbal invectives over alleged sale of the Governor’s Lodge in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The opposition PDP, had in a statement in Ado-Ekiti by the Secretary of the PDP Caretaker Committee in Ekiti, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, accused the governor of selling off the building to an undisclosed investor, an action the party described as financial recklessness and misgovernance.
It alleged that the Fayemi-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration got the state government to buy a property belonging to him in Abuja to be converted to a new governor ’s lodge after selling the one in Asokoro , Abuja.
But Fayemi in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Segun Dipe, denied the allegations, describing it as spurious and a monumental falsehood that lacks content of validity.
He clarified his administration was just carrying out reconstruction of the lodge, having been allegedly abandoned throughout the administration of former Governor Ayo Fayose thereby becoming inhabitable.
Fayemi told the opposition party and those he branded as ill-informed propagandist to savour the freedom of information law of the state to investigate these facts, instead on embarking on a wild goose chase.
He added that the same property was purchased during Segun Oni-led administration from Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola when he was the governor of Osun State at the time.
According to him, the building was not so good for habitation as the lodge was structurally weak.
This he said, triggered him to order its demolition for a more befitting edifice.
The governor argued that reconstruction of the edifice was captured in the 2020 budgets and could be verified on the state official website, saying if the opposition PDP is still “agonising” as to whether due process had been followed or not, that it enjoys the inalienable freedom to approach the court.
He, however, alleged that Fayose leased his personal apartment in Abuja to the state and collected N120 million for a period of four years.
He also alleged that Fayose illegally sold the official land acquired by the state’s first civilian governor, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo for the building of the state lodge in Abuja.
In swift reaction, the opposition PDP described the allegation as false and tissue of lies, saying “when you accuse someone of committing fraud, and instead of simply defending himself with facts and figures, he goes about accusing another person, it is obvious that such a person has a lot to hide.
“In this case, what a government that do not have anything to hide ought to have done and promptly too was to lay everything about the lodge bare for public scrutiny”.
“If the property has been sold as alleged, to whom was it sold? How much? When was it sold?
“And if it has not been sold, why was the structure on the land demolished? How much was the reconstruction awarded? To which contractor was it awarded? Where and when was the invitation to tender published? All these are the explanations needed from a Government that lays claim to “open administration”.