The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State have knocked themselves over the recent announcement of the release of N16.6 billion from Paris Club refund to the state.
The PDP candidate for the September 22 governorship election, Ademola Adeleke, warned the state government against alleged plot to divert the money to fund the emergence of Gboyega Oyetola, the party’s candidate.
Mr Adeleke, while speaking at a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday, said the fund is meant for the payment of workers’ salary arrears and pensions and gratuities in the state.
“Let me make it abundantly clear that the criminal diversion of this latest release will be resisted. The government officials who are directly or remotely connected with the application of this new release must ensure workers’ salaries, pensions and arrears are paid without further delay.
“We warn that any attempt to divert the fund for bogus contractor payments or for any electoral purposes will be resisted by our people. Every kobo from the refund must go to the settlement of outstanding salaries and employment of workers.
“If anything contrary is done in the handling of the fund, we will ensure full recovery of the last kobo once our government is voted into office. All those involved in such criminal diversion of the Paris Club refund or any other funds meant for the welfare of the workers and pensioners will be pursued, arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
However, responding to the allegation, the state commissioner of information, Adelani Baderinwa, told PREMIUM TIMES that the PDP cannot dictate for the state.
“I don’t know his concern about that, let him face his problem and not try to meddle into what is not.”
Also, Kunle Oyatomi, director of publicity and strategy, Osun APC, denied that there was plan for government to divert any fund.
“Government had set aside substantial amount of money to pay part of arrears of workers salary. Aregbesola had last Monday released the lump sum of N19.801 Billion to settle four months arrears of salary and 2016 leave allowance of all workers in the state. Aregbesola has performed credibly well to be applauded for his achievements.”
Mr Oyatomi advised the PDP candidate to stop spreading falsehood to confuse the people in the state.
Similar funds running into several billions of naira have been released to Osun State Government in the past starting with the bailout funds. However, workers and pensioners continue to wallow in 34 months of unpaid hardship.
The outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday released N19.8 billion to pay four months arrears salary, an action which many believe was geared towards the election.