By Friday Omosola
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state has kicked against the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for acquiring a new two bullet proof Lexus 670 LXE Jeeps with six doors valued at N750M each for himself and wife, after workers in the state celebrated Christmas and New Year in an unprecedented hardship.
In a statement by the party’s publicity secretary, Kennedy Peretei titled Akeredolu’s misrule in Ondo State (13): procures N1.5B bullet proof jeeps for official use, PDP said that each time the Governor purchased official vehicles, he would buy two, one for himself and the other for his wife.
“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,” the statement said.
Peretie affirmed that the Governor bought two vehicles every two years, letting out that the number of vehicles in the Governor’s fleet, most of which are armored, are about fifteen.
He stressed that the 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 nickname ‘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 an auto pilot,” he said.
The party publicity secretary added that the open display of affluence by the Governor is a direct affront on the sensibility of the people, asking if the Governor is aware that many students have dropped out of schools due to hike in tuition fees across the tertiary institutions in the State.
More so, he asked if the Governor is aware that workers of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo are being owed eleven months salaries, while most workers who are executing personal capital projects like building of houses and buying of cars using Cooperatives and loans are no longer able to do so since Akeredolu has started the percentage payment of salaries.
Furthermore, he asked if Akeredolu is aware that some workers who do not have houses of their own are being rejected by landlords whenever they seek accommodation, saying workers are no longer credit worthy.
According to him, “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.
“I wondered how Akeredolu is presiding over such unimaginable misery and has the presence of mind to procure armored vehicles valued at such an outrageous amount from taxpayers’ funds, adding that Governors of states with enormous resources do not acquire such cars.”
More so, Peretie asked if the Governor is purchasing these vehicles for security reasons or to further prove the point that nothing will happen, no matter how he takes the people of the sunshine state for granted.
“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.”
Peretie urged Akeredolu to look beyond his tenure as Governor, saying a good name is better than silver and gold.