The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has warned Governor Rauf Aregbesola against diversion of the N16.6bn Paris Club refund released to the state to fund the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
Adeleke said this in Osogbo on Wednesday at a press conference he addressed alongside the chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr Soji Adagunodo.
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Adeleke, who is a serving senator representing Osun West Senatorial District at the Senate, said the money was released by the Federal Government at a time close to the election, saying this had raised suspicions that the money would be diverted to fund the election.
Adeleke said, “You are all aware of the recent announcement of the release of N16.6bn (from the) Paris Club refund to the Osun State Government. The fund is meant for the payment of workers’ salary arrears and pensions and gratuities 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. Yet, Osun State workers and pensioners continue to suffer 34 months of untold hardship.
“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.”
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, when contacted on the telephone, said Adeleke had no power to tell the governor what to do with the state money.
He said, “He is not in the position to tell us what to do with the state’s fund. We are in government and we will do what we feel is the best with it.”