Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, has distributed 2020 model SUV KIA Sportage to members of the state House of Assembly as official vehicles.
Interestingly, seven members of the house who frustrated the governor’s impeachment move against his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, did not benefit from the largesse.
Meanwhile, Ajayi has equally rebuffed his former boss for making the distribution of the vehicles selective, adding that it was his loyalists who were deliberately ostracised from the gifts.
The vehicles were presented to the leadership of the house on Friday, a day to the official flag off of the governorship campaign of the All Progressives Congress.
The gesture is however being rebuffed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which described Akeredolu’s action as scoring cheap political point.
BoldNews recalled that Akeredolu had set aside a staggering N1.18billion in the 2020 budget for the procurement of vehicles for the House of Assembly.
During the official presentation of the vehicles to the legislators at the Government House in Akure, Akeredolu said his administration had kept faith with its promise amid the state dwindling resources.
Said Ajeredolu“What matters to me is that when we make promises we keep them. It is not for political reasons. We have been on this car issue for a while and luckily, it came today just before the flag off. Nobody is doing it for political reason. This is an improvement on what we had last.”
In his responde on behalf of his colleagues, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oloyelogun, recalled that withing a three and half year period, the governor has presented the lawmakers with official vehicles for the second time running.
Nonetheless, the Peoples Democratic Party described the car gifts as sheer waste of public fund.
A statement by PDP spokesperson Kennedy Peretei, rebuffed the governor’s desperation to please the lawmakers.
The PDP alleged that the government procured over 50 cars for distribution ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
The statement reads: “At the ceremony where legislators received these Greek gifts, Akeredolu remarked that the timing for giving them these cars has no political undertone. Why did he have to wait till now that election is around the corner to donate these cars?” the party queried.
“Last year, the Ondo State House of Assembly adjourned for more than five weeks because of a dangerous python that dropped from the ceiling of the Chambers of the Assembly during plenary session.
“The governor and the legislators traded accusations of neglect and welfare of members and the Assembly Complex that harboured reptiles. It is therefore suspicious for the governor to suddenly show care and attention for the legislators amongst whom he could not secure the constitutionally required number to impeach his estranged deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi.
“The same is true for traditional rulers that Akeredolu had shown great disrespect since he was sworn in as Governor of Ondo State.
“The Akeredolu-led APC government has demonstrated insensitivity to the plight of the Ondo State people by this gesture.
“Just twenty four hours after President Muhammadu Buhari increased the pump price of petrol from N143 to N161 per litre and a 150% increase in Electricity consumption per Kwh, the best Akeredolu could do is to use tax payers’ money to induce the political class to curry their favour. The move is vexatious and amounts to adding salt on injury.”
BoldNews recalled that four of the nine members were suspended by the leadership of the house, including the deputy speaker, Iroju Ogundeji, for what the house described as ‘unparliamentary acts’.
The suspended lawmakers recently secured a court order quashing their suspension by the house.
Speaking through his media aide, Allen Sowore, Ajayi said:
“Presenting official vehicles to only members of the House who are loyal to the governor and leaving out those who refused to sign impeachment process of the deputy governor is the lowest political strategy.”