By Omezia Ajayi
The race for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo state has continued to throw up several revelations, accusations and counter-accusations, with virtually all the 18 aspirants of the All Progressives Congress APC who have purchased their nomination forms accusing the incumbent, Dr Olusegun Mimiko of mismanagement of state resources.
While many of them alleged that the governor has plunged the state into debt, a former speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Adekanye Olabimtan has now challenged the governor to explain how he spent the N38 billion he inherited on assumption of office in 2009.
Also in league with Mr Olabimtan is a former National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Chief Olusola Oke who said there is nothing on ground to show for how the N38 billion was spent.
But more vociferous in his accusation is the ex-speaker who said the N38 billion was liquid cash inherited by Mimiko, aside from other assets.
Olabimtan who is vying for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) told Vanguard in Abuja that the Peoples Democratic Party PDP-led administration in the state has further plunged the state into debt and neglected infrastructural development in the past eight years.
According to him, “The present governor took over in 2009. I say it with all emphasis at my disposal that he has not constructed one inch to what Dr (Olusegun) Agagu constructed in Ilaje land (in the southern senatorial district of the state) up till now.
“Ask anybody in Ondo state, ask anybody in Ilaje. Is that not a failure? Today, Akoko land in the northern senatorial zone has the worst road network and before he came in, those roads were okay.
“This government (of Mimiko in Ondo State), I make bold to say, has not constructed up to 200 kilometres since they came on board almost eight years ago, and you tell me it is not a disaster?
“That was a government that inherited N38 billion, as in liquid cash, apart from the assets inherited and as at the time Agagu was leaving in 2009, oil sold for $58 a barrel and during the tenure of the incumbent governor, it rose to about $120 per barrel.
“If you go to Ondo state today, you cannot see what this money has been used for and that is why the people of Ondo state are clamouring for change. We cannot continue like this”, he said.
Interestingly, Olabimtan said despite the state of the treasury, he would revitalize the civil service and provide incentives to make the civil service a productive one.
He said, “We are bringing integrity into the governance of Ondo State. We have designed our manifesto which I called my path and covenant for Ondo State.”
The governorship aspirant, who was a former Federal Commissioner representing Ondo and Ekiti States in the Federal Civil Service Commission, maintained that rather than reducing the state’s workforce and the number of official hours, a clear diversification of the state’s economy would form part of his immediate concern.
Promising to run an honest, transparent, sincere and open administration if elected governor of the state, the aspirant pointed out that what the state requires now is the resuscitation of its long abandoned sources of income like agriculture and the Olokola deep-seaport among others.