Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, has cried out against what he termed an attempt by the Federal Government by victimise the people of the state by withholding the January allocation to the state.
He said the action of the Federal Government was to get back at him over his consistent criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Mr. Fayose also alleged that the Federal Government was using the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFFC, to frustrate ongoing projects in the state through “frivolous” investigations.
“In the last three, four weeks, after the Federal Allocation Committee meeting, it is sad that Ekiti Federal Allocation for January has not been released,” Mr. Fayose said, while briefing journalists in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday.
“Secondly, the budget support, for which we signed an ISPO for all states in Nigeria, Ekiti remains the only state not paid for the month of January. And it seems this is deliberate because up till now, no excuse or explanation has been given.
“I have written to the Federal Ministry of Finance, my Commissioner has been there, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, nobody is ready to talk to us.”
Mr. Fayose said he had to bring to the notice of the people alleged efforts by the Federal Government to harass and intimidate the people and government of Ekiti.
“We contacted the Honourable minister, all the directors at the Ministry of Finance, everybody is shying away from talking to us for the last 10 days now,” Mr. Fayose said.
“It is important to note that the allocation and budget support from Abuja is our legitimate right. We have done the needful on our part and nobody from their end has queried the process.
“I don’t know why the average civil servant in Ekiti State should be made to suffer because of politics, it is not my salary, it is the salary of the Ekiti civil servants.
“Doing this in the name of politics and to destabilize this state is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He recalled that the statutory allocation for Local governments in Lagos State was stopped by the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo and it was fought until the money was paid back.
“I want to appeal to the Federal Government, I want to appeal to the Ministry of Finance not to allow themselves to be used to oppress and suffer the civil servants in Ekiti,” he said.
“If this is a political attempt to cause chaos in the state, it will not stand. I will not
also be cowed from saying the truth.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the governor stormed the headquarters of the Finance Ministry on Wednesday to further press for the release of the funds or get explain actions while the allocation was not released.
It was also learnt that he was in Abuja for a banquet of governors at the presidential villa over the outgoing and incoming governors of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko and Rotimi Akeredolu, respectively, but used the occasion to pursue the release of the funds.
Festus Akanbi, media aide to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that he was not aware of such action by the ministry.
He however confirmed that Governor Fayose visited the ministry earlier in the day, but did not meet the minister, Kemi Adeosun, who was attending the Federal Executive Council meeting.
“An official of the ministry attended to him when he came, but I am not aware that allocation to the state was withheld,” Mr. Akanbi said.
He however promised to get the full details of the matter on Thursday when the minister would be present in the office.