By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado-Ekiti
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State and the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Wednesday engaged each other in verbal war over the N3bn Covid-19 fund and palliatives given to the state to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
PDP asked the government to explain how it expended the over N3 billion gotten from the federal government, World Bank and donations from individuals and corporate organisations as well as the palliatives supplied by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to ease the economic hardship caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The party also accused the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mobayo Babatunde, of allegedly protecting state government thugs, who killed one Prince Sunday Ogunleye at Oke Ureje in Ado Ekiti last Tuesday, and invaded GNN Guest House, also in Ado Ekiti on Saturday night where they fired gunshots at everything in sight and abducted a former member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Dayo Akinleye, Ariyo Afolabi and three others.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, by the State Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, the PDP said the police lied against those who were attacked by the thugs and charged them to court for arson while allowing the gun-wielding thugs to move about freely.
The party, which said it will continue to prevail on its supporters to maintain peace, added that “if the police does not arrest and prosecute the thugs, despite being in possession of credible evidence, including CCTV footages of their criminal acts at the GNN Guest House on Saturday, it will get to a point that we won’t be able to stop our supporters from defending themselves if the police cannot protect them.”
On the over N3 billion COVID-19 fund, the PDP said “the people of Ekiti State deserve to know what happened to the fund since there is no evidence to show that it was spent on anything.
“Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State openly admitted that his State received N1 billion as COVID-19 fund from the Federal Government and that N1.1 billion grant was provided by the World Bank.
“Governor Bello went on to say that it was only Kogi State that refused to sign MoU accepting the World Bank document N1.1 bilion grant, meaning that other States, including Ekiti got the N1.1 billion from World Bank.
“Also, over N1 billion was donated to Ekiti State by private individuals and corporate organisations, making over N3 billion that the State got for COVID-19.
“Our question is, where is the money?”
The PDP, which also demanded the whereabouts of the palliatives supplied by private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), said that since the food items were distributed by CACOVID early this month, Ekiti State government cannot claim to have distributed them.
The party said: “We have read statement by a group of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, claiming that the palliatives donated to CACOVID are being kept in Jibowu Hall as well as three other locations in the Government House and the government has not refuted this.”
Ekiti PDP is idle, frustrated, says APC
But the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Ekiti State has stated that its opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) is idle and frustrated and has resorted to empty threats and incitement as its weapon even as it warned that the law is there to tame and deal with any form of unlawful acts by any person no matter how highly placed.
Reacting to threats made by the state PDP in a statement it issued on Wednesday to take laws into their hands, the ruling party in the state said PDP had already taken laws into its hand by sponsoring the latest violence in the state which resulted in the arraignment of some PDP leaders. It added that nobody is too big to be dealt with by security agents.
The party’s statement signed and released by its Public Relations Officer, Ade Ajayi, in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, also reminded PDP members in the state, of the woes inflicted on people of the state by the immediate past administration, which led the state to a debtor status.
“With the arrest and arraignment of some hoodlums, who turned out to be PDP members by the police in connection with massive destruction and looting of warehouses in the state last week, faces of those behind the recent terror unleashed on the hapless Ekiti citizens are being unveiled by security agents.
“The APC is now calling on security agents in the state not to treat with kid-glove, the threat by the PDP that its members will take the law into their hand by resorting to defending themselves against any further attacks.
“Isn’t it shameful that a party that produced an administration that couldn’t account for billions of Naira meant for budget support, bailouts and other funds it received is now turning around to accuse a prudent government, that carries along with the people in its day to day activities, of misappropriation?
“Let them tell Ekiti people where they hid those monies.
“Their false and unsubstantiated assertions that palliatives are stored in Government house is a ploy to incite the people to attack the seat of government.
“They are not happy with the serene peace being enjoyed by the people of the state and want to create confusion.
“Their members have been identified to be the brains behind series of lootings and burning that engulfed the state capital last week and those arrested are being prosecuted by the security agents.
“PDP members and those who are bent on causing more confusion in the state should shelve their devilish plan or else they face dire consequences as security agents are more at alert to deal with trouble makers.”
The party advised the peace-loving people of the state to go about their lawful daily duties without any fear or intimidation.