The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has again condemned the nonpayment of the N11 billion road project refund by the Federal Government, saying he intended to use the funds to settle outstanding workers’ salaries.
Mr. Fayose blamed the stalling of the payment on the “antics” of the All Progressives Congress(APC) using the former commissioner of finance in the state, Dapo Kolawole, to institute a suit against the release of the funds.
Mr. Kolawole had approached a Abeokuta High Court, seeking an order to restrain the Federal Government from paying the amount to the state, as he said the state government would squander it on the forthcoming election.
He had also premised his demands on the fact that the projects for which Mr. Fayose was making claims were not executed under his tenure.
The Federal Government had earlier denied any link with the court processes, saying that it would pay the funds to the state once the ”due processes were completed.”
However, Mr. Fayose, who spoke during a monthly programme “meet your governor,” aired on Ekiti State television, said the “step” by the APC and Mr. Kolawole was ”anti-people as the money was meant to pay salaries.”
According to the governor, the Mr. Kolawole’s arguments were faulty as the projects were executed in the period extending from that of governors, Segun Oni, Kayode Fayemi and his own.
“The statement from former finance commissioner, Dapo Kolawole, that they went to court to stop Ekiti money because Fayose was not part of the governors that executed the projects is a very reckless statement,” the governor said.
“It shows the level of decay for such characters to say they went to court to delay that money because it was not my tenure that did the projects. Is the money my father’s money or Ekiti money?.
“The money to be refunded were projects that I did, Oni did and Fayemi did. We are all working for Ekiti. APC says they are progressives but their attitude is retrogressive.
He argued that although he had not borrowed any money to run his government, since he assumed office, he did not say that he would not pay the debts incurred by his predecessor in office.
“Whatever benefits is coming to Ekiti, we have to allow it irrespective of our political differences. I built the Adunni Olayinka centre to honour the distinguished Ekiti woman even though the woman was a deputy governor of Fayemi. The Ekiti APC will never do that for another party because their mind is very dirty,” he said.
According to Mr. Fayose, the court had struck out the case for lack of jurisdiction, saying that if those behind the suit had a genuine intention, they should have approached a court in Ekiti and not to go to Abeokuta.
“I have not received the N11 billion but if I get it today, I will surprise the workers. Those are the areas I was looking at when I said I would not leave office as debtor.
“The Federal government has not released budget support for Ekiti for two months now and it is the ‘APC people’ that are blocking this for the state.
“Since Fayemi became the minister what has he brought to benefit Ekiti? What would he use to campaign in Ekiti as achievements as minister.”
On the crisis rocking the PDP in the state over his support for his deputy, Olusola Kolapo, ahead of the governorship election, Mr. Fayose appealed to aggrieved members to sheathe their swords and work with him.
“In politics, everybody wants to win but only one will win. Today, ‘they’ are not happy that we are supporting Olusola Eleka, our being with Olusola is not the end of the journey, there is still primaries, it is a game, if you win, others will support you, if not, take it in good faith, my own is I am happy with every good process. Our goal is to win the election,” the governor said.
“As an individual, I have the right to support whoever I deem fit, that does not take anything away from the contestant’s quality.
“If they are angry, I appeal to them, I am sorry, but that doesn’t change my support for Olusola Eleka. I don’t like to be an hypocrite and that is why I made known my position at the onset.
“The peace process that is ongoing is for all of us to work together and I appeal to them to work with me so we can win together. There are so many things we can do together.”
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