By Laja Thomas
FORMER Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has denied the allegations of profligacy levelled against him by Mimiko. The former governor, who ruled the state for six years, said all the allegation levelled against him and the Peoples Democratic Party in the state were a calculated attempt aimed at discrediting his administration.
Agagu, who travelled to Thailand, reacted to the allegation through his former Chief of Staff, Mr. Femi Agagu.
The former COS who defended the PDP-led administration in a telephone interview with Vanguard on Tuesday, however, said the PDP in the state was studying the broadcast and would soon issue a comprehensive reaction to all the allegations.
He said, “Our administration deserves commendation for saving such huge amount of money in the treasury.
â€œI have not heard of any state in this country where a governor left N30 something billion in account. â€œWhen we came into office, we met an empty treasury and unpaid salaries. Dr Mimiko himself can testify to this because he was part of the government.
Commenting on allegation of 30 per cent mobilisation paid to contractors rather than 30 per cent which used to be the practice of the same government, Agagu said, â€œWe decided to pay 50 per cent because of the sliding value of naira at the time. Let me also clear this lie that we awarded Ajagba-Iyasan Road two times. Dr Agagu never did that.
â€œAlthough I was not the commissioner for works but I remember that there was a time the road was graded. It was graded because we did not know that we would have money to put asphalt on it.
â€œThe grading was just to make it passable for a time. Will you now say we awarded such road two times? The Ogbese Road which the current administration is rehabilitating was repaired by our government. So, can you describe that as duplication?
Our government was not owing a dime as at the time Mimiko was installed. In fact, we had paid 50 per cent mobilisation on most of the contracts awarded and had enough money ready for any certificate that could be due. We were not owing salaries, allowances, banks or contractors. The whole issue of debt is diversionary and a way of covering their lack of vision.â€