By Dayo Johnson
AKUREâ€”AS the Ondo State government and the House of Assembly continue to tango over the alleged operation of secret account by the immediate past administration of Dr Olusegun Agagu, the state government yesterday said it would not be stampeded into declaring the position of the state finances without proper scrutiny of the assets and liabilities inherited.
The Information Commissioner, Ranti Akerele said the state House of Assembly was out to stampede the governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko into declaring figures that had not been verified.
Akerele declared that â€œGovernor Olusegun Mimiko would not bow to any undue pressure from the state legislators or the opposition party in the state. He, however, urged the legislators to face the lawmaking business which is their statutory function instead of unnecessarily interfering in the affairs of the executive
The Commissioner was reacting to the insistence of the Lawmakers that the state government should declare to the people of the state the position of the state finances.
The House of Assembly members have invited the Finance Commissioner Wale Akinterinwa, the Information Commissioner and others to explain the report that the last administration operated a secret account. While Akerele had appeared before the lawmakers, Akinterinwa had not appeared despite the grace given to him by the lawmakers.
Akerele said, â€˜with due respect to the lawmakers, I think the duty of the house is to make laws and the executive will execute the law. They should try and focus on how to make laws rather than undue interference in the affairs of the executiveâ€.
According to himâ€ inability of the state commissioner for finance; Mr. Wale Akinterinwa to appear before the state house of assembly committee on Public Accounts did not mean that the state government had not discovered undisclosed accounts run by the Agagu led government. Akerele pointed out that the commissioner did not deliberately absent himself but the exigencies of the office prevented him.
â€œThe mere fact that the commissioner for finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa did not appear before the house committee on public account does not mean that the immediate past government did not run undisclosed accounts. The governor at the appropriate time will make this publicâ€
The Commissioner said that the state Governor was almost ready to declare what he met in the state coffers now that the Contracts Review Committee had submitted its report.
According to him, â€œWith the submission of the contract review committee report, the state government will able to assess the assets and the liabilities left behind by the Agagu led government.
â€œThe Peopleâ€™s Governor will soon declare what he met in the state coffers with submission of the contract review committee. The government has been taking its time so as not to give the public distorted fact. But with this submission of the report , the coast is almost clear for the declaration of what Agagu left in office
â€œIt will have been a wrong approach if the state government had hurriedly declared with Agagu left in the state accounts.
After carefully examining the report of the committee, I am quite sure that the governor will be in a hurry to let the good people of Ondo state know the position of the state financeâ€.