…..Says past governors, appointees did same
….. As Group fumes, seeks return of looted govt assets
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Osun State All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, justified the carting away of Osun state government properties by the erstwhile governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola and his official appointees.
The party admitted that Oyetola; former deputy governor, Benedict Alabi and other appointees of the administration took away their official vehicles after getting approval from Oyetola.
The state’s APC Director of Operations, Sunday Akere, who affirmed this during a radio programme monitored by The Guardian in Osogbo, while reacting to the directive by Governor Ademola Adeleke that the immediate past appointed officials should return government vehicles and property in their possession within 48 hours, said it had become a tradition in the state that governors and their appointees leave offices with their official vehicles.
In his revelation, the new Deputy Governor, Kola Adewusi, said that when he got to his official quarters, it was left empty by his predecessor, Benedict Alabi, as building fittings down to kitchen utensils were carted away.
Also, some documents obtained by The Guardian revealed that some principal officers of Osun State College of Education, Ila-Oragun, were given their official vehicles after N20,000 “depreciation value” was paid.
In the same vein, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs released some government vehicles to some local council officials after approval was got from Oyetola, according to a document.
But Akere, who maintained that it had become a norm in the government circle for officials to take away their official vehicles in as much such gifts were approved by the state governor, said that it is the practice in Osun State and other states as well as to the National Assembly.
On the removal of building fittings and other items from government official residences, Akere contended that such action was also right because those building items were bought to the place, though with government money, but through personal names of their occupants.
He said that the official quarters were met empty when the administration of Oyetola took over power from Aregbesola, adding that it was justifiable for the immediate past occupants to have removed what they acquired in the buildings.
MEANWHILE, a group, Good Governance Globally, has asked Akere to tender apology to the state on his admittance that the former government officials made away with government property, adding that they should return all the assets back to government.
In a statement signed by its Convener, Goke Omigbodun, said: “Akere should in fact apologise for mentioning the government of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, in which I served as Special Adviser. We all returned our official cars, and some of my colleagues were even hounded for what was not!
“I also served in Bisi Akande’s administration and returned all my official vehicles. It is almost certain that the official cars of the then Commissioner for Education, whom Chief Sunday Akere served as Personal Assistant, were also returned.
“This said tradition is new and confined to the APC administration. It is an unbearable tradition of “a heavy knee on the neck” of Osun State lean wallet.”