…Says this is cheap blackmail to get public sympathy
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has said there was no truth in the claims by Governor Ayodele Fayose that the Federal Government is deliberately delaying disbursement of Paris Club cash to the states of the federation to hurt Ekiti State’s bid to pay workers salary.
Fayose had said that the alleged move by the Federal Government was to incapacitate Ekiti State to pay workers salary to enable the All Progressives Congress (APC) use non-payment of salary as a campaign tool against PDP candidate, Prof Olusola Eleka, in the July 14 governorship election.
A statement by Fayose’s media aide also alleged that Fayemi’s administration plunged the state into debt, including leaving two months’ salaries unpaid and that N35.34b was being deducted every month from Ekiti allocations to service the debt, arguing that if the governor had N35.34bn, he would not owe workers.
But a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, faulted the claims, arguing that Fayose was using cheap blackmail to get undeserved public sympathy and support ahead of the July 14 poll and explained that Ekiti total debts while Fayemi was leaving office, according to DMO, was N18b.
He added that contrary to claim that Fayemi owed two months salary, the administration owed just one month salary mainly because Fayose threatened banks not to grant Fayemi a standing facility to pay salary ahead of Abuja allocation.
He said: “This is a cheap blackmail and characteristic propaganda by Fayose, for how can one claim that N35.34b is being spent to service the debt of N18b?
“How can the Federal Government cripple all the states because of the election in Ekiti State as if President Muhammadu Buhari is like President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration that paid Ecological Fund cash to PDP’s states but refused to pay APC states?
“How did Fayose spend the Paris Club refunds he earlier collected to pay salary but refused to pay workers?
“Fayose collected a bailout of about N20b in two tranches for workers salary but diverted all to self-serving projects having earlier taken N2b CBN small-scale business credit scheme but never release one kobo to any small-scale business owner.
“Fayose collected N2b Ecological Fund, but for close to a year, he consistently lied that he ever collected the money, only to own up when APC approached Ecological Fund office with the Freedom of Information (FOI) instrument to get the fact, and the very week Fayose shamelessly confessed taking the money, he announced Ecological project contract totalling exactly N2b, even though up till now, there is no sign of ecological project across the state as could be seen in ecological disasters that ravaged the state.
“Again, the governor was secretly collecting N1.3b Budget Support Facility for 14 months to pay salary but he never told workers he was collecting this money on their behalf for salary until he exposed himself when he made similar allegation like the case here that President Muhammadu deliberately withheld Ekiti State allocation.
“After a long period of blackmail, the Federal Government responded, explaining that it withheld Ekiti cash because Fayose was illegally diverting it to other purposes, and this expose created opportunity for Ekiti workers, for the first time, to know that Fayose was collecting such facility on their behalf to pay salary but consistently diverting it illegally.”
Olujobi also faulted Fayose’s claim that Fayemi’s administration debts service obligation was hurting the state’s capacity to pay workers.
He explained: “DMO put Ekiti total official debts at N18b by the time Fayose started blackmailing Fayemi for plunging the state to N86b debts, and by the time Fayose later became more notorious for his lies on Ekiti debts, DMO published the debts by all the states of the federation, revealing that Fayose had borrowed N56b between 2014 and 2018.
“Records have also shown that Fayose is presently paying N1.7b monthly in monthly salary, but still fraudulently claims that the figure remains the same as N2.6b that Fayemi was paying after Fayose removed about 40,000 names from the wage bill he inherited from Fayemi.”
Urging Fayose to disclose the IGR profile allegedly kept in secret accounts, JKF Campaign spokesman said Ekiti people and workers in particular had become wiser after discovering that their governor had been “unconscionably running Ekiti State like a buka where accountability is zero”.
Stressing that Ekiti people can no longer be fooled by deceits, he urged workers to insist on their salaries and should not to be deceived by an administration that sees Ekiti State as a jackpot for private comfort.
He also urged Fayose to stop lying that he owed workers four months salary, asking the governor to pay six months he owed state workers, seven months for workers in tertiary institutions, local government eight months, teaching hospital seven while pensioners were owed 11 months.