By Kennedy Ikantu Peretei.
While Ondo State workers celebrated Christmas and New year in unprecedented hardship, occasioned by the non payment of their salaries, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of the State has just bought two bullet proof Lexus 670 LXE jeeps with six doors valued at N750M each for his personal comfort and self aggrandisement.
It is on record that each time the Governor procures official vehicles, he would buy two. One for himself and the other for his wife. These latest wonders on wheels were the third batch of vehicles bought by the Governor since he assumed office about five years ago. It means, on the average, two vehicles every two years. As we speak, the number of vehicles in the Governor’s fleet (most of which are armored) are about fifteen. This level of executive recklessness and insensitivity to the plight of the people, is beyond any rational thinking.
There are reports that, wise counsel against this wasteful purchase was rebuffed by the Governor. According to him “Why won’t l buy vehicles. Even if I buy, nothing will happen”. A development that has earned the governor the nick name ” Nothing will happen”. Within the governor’s inner circle, it is like the case of the proverbial dog that is destined to get lost, that will never listen to the hunter’s whistle. Akeredolu has been left alone to be on auto pilot.
Does it ever occur to Mr. Governor that this open display of affluence is a direct affront on the sensibility of the people? Is Mr. Governor aware that, many students have dropped out of schools because their parents were unable to afford the astronomical fees of tertiary institutions, charged by the Akeredolu led APC government? Is Mr. Governor aware that, workers of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic are being owed eleven months salary? Is Mr Governor aware that, most of the workers in Ondo State who executed personal capital projects like building of houses and buying of cars using Cooperatives and loans are no longer able to do so since he started the percentage payment of salaries? Is Mr. Governor aware that Ondo State workers are no longer credit worthy? So much so that, those who do not have houses of their own are rejected by landlords if they seek accommodation? Is Mr. Governor aware that, market men and women who used to get soft loans from the Ondo State Micro Credit Agency have vacated their stalls in the neighborhood markets because such loans no longer exist? Is Mr Governor aware that, many families have lost loved ones because they could not afford medicare? Is Mr Governor aware that, many of the artisans are closing shops or refusing to go to their workshops due to outright lack of patronage or poor patronage? How can a Governor presiding over such unimaginable misery have the presence of mind to procure armored vehicles valued at such an outrageous amount from taxpayers’ funds?
Even Governors of states with enormous resources do not use such cars. Not even Governors in Bandits and Boko Haram infested enclaves buy these kind of cars. Did Akeredolu purchase these vehicles for security reasons or to further prove the point that, nothing will happen, no matter how he takes the people for granted? Whichever way, the truth is that, Ondo State deserves something better than they are being served at the moment. We have witnessed prosperity in Ondo State under PDP administration. We experienced decent life under the PDP compared to the present lack that is the order of the day. The same Governor that refused to buy even one bag of rice for his APC party supporters during Christmas, had as much as N1.5b Naira to buy cars for his personal comfort.
I also have it on good authority that, some of the cars in the Governor’s fleet are re-registered in the Governor’s name and taken out of Ondo State immediately new ones are purchased for the Governor.
Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN should look beyond his tenure as Governor. A good name is better than silver and gold.
This series will continue shortly.
Mr Kennedy Ikantu Peretei is the State Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State chapter.