The Oyo State goveronor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has accused his immediate predecessor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala of blowing N3 billon in the last week of his administration in May 2011.
Governor Ajimobi said this while responding to questions from journalist at Ibadan on Monday. He also disclosed that another former governor of the state, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, who preceded Akala, refunded N500 million loot to the coffers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in an attempt to enter into plea bargain with the Commission.
Both Akala and Ladoja are contesting against Ajimobi for the Oyo State governorship seat on the platforms of Labour Party (LP) and the Accord Party (AP) respectively.
Ajimobi wondered how the two former governors considered it right for them to contest for the same position again, despite the moral burden on them.
The governor said Alao-Akala realised the N3billion from the sale of government quarters during his tenure, pointing out that he set aside the fund for payment of pensions before he squandered it in the last week of his administration.
He said the N500 million recovered from Ladoja is being used to build model schools across the state’s three senatorial districts.
“My predecessor sold several government quarters from which he realised about N3 billion. He first set it aside to pay pensioners but later blew it one week before we came in.”
The governor explained that rather than follow the same path, his administration partnered with UACN Properties, which has redeveloped 89 apartments to be sold at the value of over N5 billion. He explained that the government owns 45 percent of the investment.
According to him, the same landed property used for the apartments had been valued at only N120 million the sale of which he turned down because of the potential for huge profit, if better utilised. “This, to me, is good governance,” he said.
The governor was answering a question on how he hopes to cope with dwindling federal allocations and huge and increasing expenditure, if he returns as governor.
He said his administration would survive by building on the foundation it has laid in attracting investors to the city. Eight big industries have opened for business in the state in the last two years as marks of his efforts to attract investors.
Ajimobi emphasised that the state’s economy was improving daily, which will ultimately put government in a position to earn more revenue internally.