Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has cried out over what he said was the sustained delay of releasing the state’s January federal allocation accruing to the state, and claimed that it was a ploy by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to frustrate his government.
Governor Fayose said three weeks after the Federation Accounts and Allocations Committee meeting in Abuja, neither the Federal Government nor any of its agents had responded to his state’s inquiries, including phone calls to some stakeholders, to explain to them why the Ekiti allocation had not been released to the state.
Fayose, who addressed newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, also displayed a copy of the letter he wrote to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in which he officially notified the minister that the state had not received the January installment of the state’s budget support loan facility.
In the letter dated February 8, 2017 and stamped as received on February 9, 2017 by the office of the minister, Fayose said “our findings revealed surprisingly that we are the only state in the federation that is yet to be paid in January 2017.”
He called on the minister to use her office to ensure that the money was released to the state without further delay.
Fayose said: “This new onslaught against Ekiti State and its people started with the stoppage of the state’s January allocation and statutory budget support fund.”
“While all states in Nigeria received their full allocation from the federation account last month, the budget support fund was not released to Ekiti State, thereby making it impossible for the state to meet its financial obligations, most especially the payment of salaries.”
“Three weeks after Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, they have refused to tell us why they denied Ekiti State of the statutory allocation, and our letter to the Minister of Finance was ignored.”
He told newsmen that he was not contemplating court action yet on the matter, saying he was still assuming that the delay was as a result of “an oversight and we will wait to see their reaction.”
However, Governor Fayose alleged that the development was “a new onslaught” by the APC-led Feral Government to frustrate his government, to frustrate him and his party, the PDP which is in power in the state ahead of next year’s governorship election in the state.
He said: “It is alarming that while we were almost concluding that the siege on Ekiti and its people by the APC government in Abuja, with full collaboration from leaders of the party in Ekiti State had stopped, we are now being confronted with yet another shenanigan by those who won’t mind to see Ekiti people die of hunger just to achieve their selfish political agenda ahead of the 2018 election.
“The question is: If they have issues with Fayose politically, must they suffer the innocent government workers?”
“Two weeks ago, some top functionaries of the APC in Ekiti State met in Abuja where it was decided that renewed efforts should be made to cripple the state. It was agreed that the Federal Government must be made to stop all intervention funds to Ekiti State while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be used to cripple the finances of contractors handling government legacy projects.
“The game plan is that the moment workers do not receive their salary, they will hate me and my party, the PDP and this they believe will translate to votes for them in 2018.”
He claimed that the same APC authorities were also employing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to frustrate the completion of his government’s legacy projects, alleging that they had set EFCC operatives after the contractors handling the projects.
According to Fayose, “the EFCC is now harassing major contractors handling Ekiti State government projects, with a view to making sure that the projects are abandoned just because of 2018 election.
“Obviously, these APC leaders in Ekiti State and their collaborators in Abuja fear that the completion of our ongoing legacy projects like the overhead bridge, Oja Oba Market, High Court complex, governor’s office, roads construction, among others, will further endear our party, the PDP to the people who will be positively affected.
“One wonders why the APC will desire that Ekiti people suffer just because of desperation for power.
“To prevent these projects from being completed, we have it on good authority that accounts of contractors handling major projects are to be frozen, thus prevent completion of the projects in record time.
“It is so sad that anyone in his or her right senses will want to prevent workers from being paid and projects from being completed just because of their desperation to wrestle power from me, having failed in all their previous attempts.
“Interestingly, this same EFCC that is always in a hurry to harass my government has refused to act on several petitions submitted to it on the wanton looting of the State treasury by the immediate past APC government of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
“However, notwithstanding this new evil plot against the government and people of Ekiti State, I will remain undaunted, believing strongly that God will again overcome this evil-machination. Definitely, this too shall pass.”
He reiterated his belief in the fight against corruption in the country but explained that “as much as I believe in the fight against corruption, it must not be political and it must be done within the ambit of the law. The EFCC must be prosecutor and not persecutor.”