The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, says his administration had the best debt profile in the country.
Mr Ajimobi told journalists on Sunday at his Ibadan residence after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers that the state was not among the first 10 states in a list published by the Debt Management Office (DMO).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the incumbent administration of Governor Seyi Makinde had alleged that the Ajimobi administration left behind huge debts for the state.
“If you look at the debts owed by each state in the country as published by DMO, you will see that Oyo State is not even among the first 10 states.
“U.S. is the number one debtor in the world. Government by nature and establishment must continue to have debts. They must be able to use people’s money to make money,” Mr Ajimobi said.
He said that 50 per cent of the debts owed by his administration was drawdown debts from the World Bank, adding that less than 30 per cent had been accessed.
“As we do the work, the World Bank comes to verify and pays. We still have about 70 per cent of it, so this administration can stop taking it if they don’t want it,” he added.
On allegations that his aides carted away official vehicles, Mr Ajimobi said that the officials paid for the vehicles based on the decision taken by the government.
“When you are in government, there are policies and decisions to be taken. We took the decision that anybody using vehicles at the time should take it away and pay.
“This is also practised by the federal and other state governments.
“When I got to office, I didn’t see any vehicle. My brother, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, took his vehicles away and I did not talk.
“There are civil servants who steal whenever politicians are leaving government. Let them go and check those civil servants,” he said.
He alleged that there were no curtains, furniture and electronic equipment in the Government House when he moved in, adding that Mr Alao-Akala left the government a few days before his resumption.
Mr Ajimobi, however, said that all the facilities at the Government House and offices were intact because he worked till the last day of his administration.
On insecurity, the former governor described Mr Makinde as lucky because of the already existing security structure bequeathed to him by his administration.
He called on Mr Makinde to leverage on the many good initiatives his administration carried out, urging him to make amends where Mr Ajimobi made mistakes.
“We thank God that he has started seeing some of the good things we did. No government in the state has ever done as much as we have done. This does not mean we did not make mistakes,” he said.
Mr Ajimobi said that he would take the decisions he took while in office if he had the opportunity of being the governor again.
The former governor also appealed to aggrieved members of APC to reconcile for the good of the party, saying his only regret was trying to be perfect in an imperfect world.
“There are many of our members who genuinely have reasons to be angry but 90 per cent of those angry have no reason except that they were not appointed.
“The houses, name and titles some of these people are using today, they got it by working with us.
” Irrespective of whatever grievances, let us come together in the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir.
“Those I believe have genuine reasons to be angry, I have spoken to them. Some, I will not speak to them, they must come back,” he said.
The former governor also prayed for the success of the Makinde administration, adding that the people would gain nothing from its failure.
“I pray that Makinde succeeds and I will support him to succeed anytime. In supporting him, we are helping the state,” he said. (NAN)