The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has denied allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party that former Governor Kayode Fayemi diverted N4 billion workers’ entitlements to service it during his tenure.
The APC accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of regaling in his old practice of falsehood and blackmail to divert Ekiti people’s attention from proven cases of sharp practices in governance.
It said the allegation by the PDP was meant to divert attention from the controversy over the alleged N720 million he awarded himself as salary arrears for his unfinished first time while at the same time owing workers salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.
Mr. Fayose was impeached from office in October 2006 during his first term as governor.
In a statement on Sunday by its spokesperson, Taiwo Olatubosun, the APC expressed dismay that the governor was just realising after eight months in office that N4billion was diverted by Mr. Fayemi.
It said Mr. Fayose was exposed as an enemy of workers, having owed workers’ salaries and pensions at the time he awarded himself N720m and paying back N650m to his election contractors.
The APC said, “It is laughable that as much as 4billion was diverted and or embezzled by the Fayemi administration and Fayose is just knowing eight months after assumption of office, pretending that a kangaroo verification exercise had revealed this. This is better told to the marines!
“Fayemi had earlier offered his administration for probe when Fayose started a similar campaign of calumny to cover his tracks in financial mismanagement but the governor had no courage for such exercise because there was nothing to probe,” he said.
“Fayose is at it again in his usual funny game to divert Ekiti people’s attention from his sharp practices in governance. This is an afterthought that exposes his ignorance and confusion. If Fayose is sure of his facts, he should not waste time in taking his case to the EFCC.”
The party said the former governor was still paying workers’ salaries with overdraft until Mr. Fayose as governor-elect wrote to banks to stop it.
It said, “There is no deduction anywhere. It is not possible. Even though for the two years that federal allocations to the state dwindled with as much as N500 million, Fayemi was still paying workers’ salaries with overdraft until Fayose as Governor-elect wrote to banks to stop it, so how was any deduction and diversion possible under that situation?
”The biometric system was so transparent such that it did not allow ghost workers syndrome, but since the PDP is now saying its government had detected 1,000 ghost workers, we are interested in unmasking the ghosts, which we believe is the governor’s making and we demand that the names of these ghost workers be published,” he added.
The APC asked Mr. Fayose and his party to approach the EFCC with their claim, including the list of workers used to siphon funds.
It said Mr. Fayemi would be willing to defend his financial transactions in government with facts and figures.
The party said this lie is coming now because APC had put Mr. Fayose administration on the spot over its inability to pay workers salary, stoppage of poverty reduction programmes of his predecessor at the time he is facing N1.3b poultry fraud case in court while also awarding himself N720m salary arrears.
“We want to say that this diversionary tactic has failed. Fayose had said on several occasions that the greatest weapon in politics and governance is tellies lies,” it said.
“All Nigerians, Ekiti people in particular, know the kind of human being Fayose is and so they would not be deceived by this diversionary tactic to continue to owe workers’ salaries and pensions to retirees.
“With money saved from cancellations of empowerment schemes, refusal to fund security agencies, job cuts, cuts in allowances, refund of N24b by the Federal Government, six moratorium on bond repayment, abandonment of capital projects initiated by Fayemi and non-award of fresh capital projects, APC will not stop from asking the governor to fulfil his obligations to Ekiti people.”
The APC urged the governor to show his development blueprint and achievements eight months in the saddle instead of engaging in lies, mindless private comfort and encouraging indolence and crimes among youths.
I did not pay N720million to my self — Fayose
Meanwhile, Mr. Fayose has denied paying himself the sum of N750 million as terminal benefits for his first term in office.
The governor debunked the allegation during a broadcast on Monday to mark the first year of his return as governor of the state.
He said only a wicked leader would pay such a huge sum to himself in the face of the present economic hardship.
According to him, the allegation was the plan of the opposition to cause disaffection among the Ekiti people.
He said, “I am Ayo Fayose, your governor who can never do that, since you have known me, you will observe that I have always been transparent and down to earth with you in all matters.
“Please be assured that I am not in a hurry to get rich through the back door as suggested by my detractors.
“Let us even to think of it whether it was logical for me to have been so selfish into paying such money into my private account, what sense does that make to a right thinking person when such money was almost enough to augment what we are looking for to pay the May salary to Ekiti workers.”
The governor assured of his administration’s readiness to bring rapid development to the state despite the dwindling financial resources.