By Dayo Johnson, Akure
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo state has faulted Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s plan to build a new governor’s lodge for N 2 billion amidst unpaid workers’ salaries.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, the state chairman of the party, Hon Fatai Adams described the proposed plan as ” not only ridiculous but the surest evidence that the governor has completely lost direction.
Adams said that ” While the present Administration of Akeredolu has a backlog of un-paid salaries of workers, it is proposing to build a 2-billion naira new Government House in Akure.
“This is not only ridiculous but the surest evidence that the Governor has completely lost direction.
“Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Akeredeolu’s predessesor built a very befitting Government House, in 2013, a few years before Akeredolu assumed the reins of government. To spend 2 billion naira of taxpayers money on another Government House at this time is the height of callousness and wastefulness.
ALSO READ: Police arrest 2 suspected rapists in Jigawa
“The questions are: has the one built by Dr Olusegun Mimiko in 2013 become so uninhabitable such that a new one is inevitable in this perilous time?
” Considering the terrible economic situation and hunger in the land, is it proper or reasonable for a government to embark on a 2-billion naira project that will only serve very few individuals, when millions of people are languishing in despicable penury and dying without basic healthcare service delivery?
“But again, if a society is not fully informed of the atrocious and pernicious nature of the party in government, the people may always be cajoled or beguiled through a well-oiled and orchestrated propaganda machinery, into believing that the government is working in the interest of the people.
“We wish to assure the people of Ondo State, that the good times they once savoured under the PDP Administration are almost here again.
“We shall not give up or be overwhelmed by the suffering and hopelessness foisted on us by the APC Government, because we can already see light at the end of the tunnel.
Speaking on the resignation of doctors in the state over percentage salaries paid to workers in the state, the chairman said ” we are seriously alarmed by the unfortunate resignation of over 109 medical doctors from the Ondo State public service over the inability of the government to pay the medical personnel their due salaries and hazard allowances as and when due.
“Apart from the failure of government to pay, Governor Akeredolu unapologetically told the Doctors in a widely televised program that the services of the doctors were not indispensable.
” This is worrisome as we all know that we are dealing with the health and lives of our people here.
” I’m sure you’ll all recall that Ondo State was the destination for medical tourism in the South West because of the first class service delivery found here under the PDP Administration.
“According to the Nigerian Medical Association records, no Medical House officer has been employed by the Ondo State Government since 2019, a situation that is responsible for the poor services rendered in the hospitals.
“The available few hands are already overwhelmed and overstretched by the high number of patients coming for medical attention.
“This is very pathetic. Our people are dying unattended to! This portends grave danger especially in a period when all manners of epidemic rear their ugly heads.
Recall that governor Akeredolu at the ground breaking of the new Governor’s lodge to mark his 100 days in office said that the new multi-billionaire naira governor’s lodge built by his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko had structural defect.
He noted that the former governor’s lodge built by the colonial officers and used by late Dr. Olusegun Agagu was termites infected.
“I called my engineer to look at it and I was told to either bring down the building or part of it. Then we all knew we are going to need a new Governor lodge.
“What we had was a modest three room duplex built by the colonial officers. It was termites infested. It was not suited for anybody to live. My consultant said I should not attempt to remodel it.
Also reacting, the information and Orientation commissioner, Donald Ojogo in a statement said that ” the position of the opposition party had thrived at an inclement path of a fruitless incitement as it incredulously, suggested that Ondo State does not need a befitting Governor’s Lodge.
“It is a conceded fact that an opposition party is at liberty to criticise any Government including of course, the indiscretional display of ignorance on issues of governance.
” The misplaced allusion to the Governor’s Lodge as well as the weak nexus between same and the issue of salaries betrays an unpardonable amnesia on the part of a politcal party. It becomes immeasurably uncanny if such party had left the stage with the most uncharitable legacy of ‘unpaid seven months salaries ‘.
“Perhaps, PDP deserves to know that the envisioned Governor’s Lodge is among the plethora of iconic projects targeted with the yet-to-be-fully accessed BOND. Suggesting therefore, that Government should ‘shelve’ the project for salaries clearly shows a gross lack of knowledge of how Bonds work. They are, as Special Purpose means of funding developmental initiatives, inconvertible to cash, hence undrawable by anyone.
Ojogo said ” Rather than abandon the welfare of workers for months without remorse under any guise, the Ondo State Government led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN shall, at all times, evolve ingenious means to address the issue of salaries in the face of excruciating global economic challenges.