The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, on Sunday justified the actions of public officials under his administration who took away their official vehicles.
Recall that Governor Seyi Makinde embarked on an operation to recover the official vehicles which he said were taken away by Ajimobi and his officials.
Speaking to newsmen at his Ibadan residence after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers on Sunday, Ajimobi claimed that the officials paid for the vehicles they took away.
His words: “When you are in government, there are policies and decisions to be taken. We took the decision that anybody using vehicles at the time should take it away and pay.
“This is also practised by the federal and other state governments.“When I got to office, I didn’t see any vehicle. My brother, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, took his vehicles away and I did not talk.
“There are civil servants who steal whenever politicians are leaving government. Let them go and check those civil servants,” he said.
He alleged that there were no curtains, furniture and electronic equipment in the Government House when he moved in, adding that Alao-Akala left government a few days before his resumption.
Ajimobi, however, said that all facilities at the Government House and offices were intact because he worked till the last day of his administration.
Even though he admitted that he possibly made some mistakes as governor, Ajimobi stated that he would take the sane decisions he took while in office if he had the opportunity of being the governor again.
No government in the state has ever done as much as we have done. This does not mean we did not make mistakes,” he said.
He called on Governor Makinde to leverage on the many good initiatives his administration carried out, urging him to make amends where he made mistakes. “We thank God that he has started seeing some of the good things we did,” he added.
On the governor’s statement that the last administration left over N150billion as debt for the state, Ajimobi stated that under him, Oyo had the best and most transparent debt profile in the country.
His words: “If you look at the debts owed by each state in the country as published by DMO, you will see that Oyo State is not even among the first 10 states.
“US is the number one debtor in the world. Government by nature and establishment must continue to have debts. They must be able to use people’s money to make money.”
He said that 50 percent of the debts owed by his administration was draw-down debts from the World Bank, adding that less than 30 percent had been accessed.
“As we do the work, the World Bank comes to verify and pays. We still have about 70 percent of it, so this administration can stop taking it if they don’t want it,” he added.
On insecurity, the former governor described Makinde as ‘lucky’ because of the already existing security structure bequeathed to him by his administration.
The former governor also appealed to aggrieved members of APC to reconcile for the good of the party, saying his only regret was trying to be perfect in an imperfect world.
“There are many of our members who genuinely have reasons to be angry but 90 percent of those angry have no reason except that they were not appointed.
“The houses, name and titles some of these people are using today, they got it by working with us.
“Irrespective of whatever grievances, let us come together in the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir.
“Those I believe have genuine reasons to be angry, I have spoken to them. Some, I will not speak to them, they must come back,” he said.
The former governor also prayed for the success of the Makinde administration, adding that the people would gain nothing from its failure.
“I pray that Makinde succeeds and I will support him to succeed anytime. In supporting him, we are helping the state,” he said.