The Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State has defended Governor Olusegun Mimiko, after the All Progressives Congress in the state called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate the management of the allocations to the state from the excess crude account.
The APC predicated its call on the revelation by the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the state received N81.7billion from the excess crude account between 2011 and 2014.
The party in a statement in Akure alleged that the Mimiko administration failed to account for Local Government funds and 13 per cent oil derivation funds for the oil producing area of the State through the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC).
The APC Publicity Secretary, Omo’ba Adesanya, in the statement, said an average citizen of Ondo State was yet to establish a link between the huge amounts allocated and the level of development in the State.
“APC is calling on the EFCC to pay the state a visit urgently and ascertain the situation and issues raised in the interest of the State against corruption, the statement,” he said.
He said with no meaningful capital project in place, especially since his assumption of office for second term, the Mimiko administration has dragged the state into bankruptcy and ground it to a halt.
“It is regrettable that as an oil producing State, the Mimiko-led PDP government has received such whooping amount with no meaningful justification.
“APC calls on the EFCC to help investigate how monies received and generated by the state are being spent by Dr. Mimiko led government,” Mr. Adesanya said.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP described APC’s call as a show of “ignorance,” saying the party’s comment was prompted by its failure to bring the needed change it promised Nigerians.
The Publicity Secretary of the Party, Banji Okunomo, said the APC was making a mountain out of nothing as allocations to the state had been judiciously used.
“The reason why the state is not in the same crisis facing other states right now is because of the prudent management of the resources accruing to the state.
“While other states are unable to pay salaries and are owing up to seven months of salaries as we find in some APC state, Ondo State has been paying salaries.
“What we get from the excess crude account and the allocation to OSOPADEC are completely different things and that is what they have failed to realize,” Mr. Okunomo said.
He argued that contrary to APC’s claims, the PDP-led government had ensured the development of the oil producing areas.
“Besides being the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, I am also from the oil producing area and I can tell you that a lot of developmental projects are ongoing in that region.
“As we speak, the major road leading to the heart of the riverine communities is being laid with asphalt. I can tell you that the projects is commensurate with the funding OSOPADEC is receiving,” he added.