With the Governorship election over in over State, indication shows that the battle for the soul of the State is still on as the current ruling party is restrategising on how to reclaim the State from the opposition party that will be taking over in May.
Recall that Seyi Makinde OF the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was declared winner of the governorship election in the State by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Adebayo Adelabu of the ruling All Progressives Congress,APC.
According to The Punch, Oyo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress has urged its members and supporters to put behind them the last governorship election loss and start working immediately towards taking back power from the Peoples Democratic Party in 2023. The party also said it would challenge the outcome of the governorship election in places where there were glaring irregularities.
These were the highlights of the communiqué issued at the end of the expanded meeting of the APC leaders drawn from the 33 local government areas of the state, which was presided over by the Governor Abiola Ajimobi, at the Government House, Ibadan, on Monday.
At the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olagunju Ojo; state Chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, as well as its governorship candidate in the March 9 election, Chief Adebayo Adelabu.
Also, among the 289 attendees were members of the state executive council of the party, zonal leaders from Ibarapa, Oke Ogun, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ido, Ibadan; local government chairmen of the party, secretaries, as well as victorious and defeated candidates of the party in the general elections. Passing a vote of confidence in the Ajimobi-led administration, the APC said it was impressed by its unprecedented achievements and impressive performance in its historic eight-year tenure.
The communiqué by the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Dr AbdulAzeez Olatunde, urged members to be happy and take solace in the feat already recorded by the progressives, having been given the chance to rule the state for eight unbroken years. It read, “Meeting urged members to walk tall and be cheerful because this is the first time the progressives would be opportune to have eight unbroken successive years of governance since the era of the Western Region.
“The party resolved to embrace genuine reconciliation and frown upon factionalisation (within the state APC).The party warn its members to avoid buck passing and blame game, but rather chart roadmap to 2023 in earnest.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, has again raised the alarm that the outgoing administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi is making last-minute withdrawal of funds from the state’s treasury ahead of the May 29 handing over.
The governor-elect alleged that the plan of the outgoing administration was to cripple his incoming government. Makinde said the incumbent government was bent on depleting funds in government coffers, both strategic and from stabilisation accounts, in the next couple of weeks, in order to stall the smooth take-off of the incoming administration.
It is worthy of note that the tenure of Governor Ajimobi will expire on May 29, 2019 whereas Makinde will be taking over power on that day. The said date is a little over two months from now.
In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Dotun Oyelade, the governor-elect said he was aware of “questionable special projects for which N2. 475m have been hurriedly released for each of the 33 local governments and similar amount released to the Oyo state Road Maintenance Agency, OSTROMA for the same purpose, totalling N4,950,000,000.”
According to him, the money was taken from the Excess Crude Account and released through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Makinde argued that while government was a continuum, frenetic release of government funds in unusual circumstances was worrisome, especially if it was not in the normal bureaucratic pattern.
Makinde said he and his team were keeping track of activities on the state’s bank accounts, adding that he would take steps to correct all anomalies.
Reacting to Makinde’s complaints, the state’s Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, reiterated that “the mandate of the Ajimobi administration will not lapse until the 28th of May 2019. Government will not fold its hands, counting days but must make the remainder of its days count,” Arulogun said.
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