The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West and the Ondo State Government on Monday, exchanged words over an allegation that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is planning to negotiate the pending Supreme Court Judgement with the state allocations.
While the PDP specifically accused Akeredolu of negotiating with the salaries of workers in the state by paying half salary to them, the state government described the allegation as not only spurious but laying a sandy foundation ahead of the PDP’s leprous efforts at the Supreme Court.
The South West PDP in a statement issued by its zonal Publicity Secretary, Chief Sanya Atofarati, said: “It has come to our notice that the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has been negotiating the forthcoming Supreme Court Judgement with the State allocations just for favouritism.
“It is imperative to make this known to the general public and particularly the state Labour Union and its members that Governor Akeredolu has been on the move to negotiate their salaries for his gains and interests by implementing this satanic means through the ongoing Half-Salary tactics in the state.”
“After the appeal case judgement, there was a ploy to frustrate the appeal judgement. Even after the judgement, the appeal court reluctantly and refused to release the certified true copies of the judgement to our Party.
“Despite that, It is so unfortunate that the Governor and the APC Party are trying every possible means to win at the forthcoming Supreme Court rulings through negotiations for personal and political interests and not minding the plight of the State Civil Servants and the present predicaments of the state.
“We are calling on the masses and most especially the State Civil Servants to be aware and restrict this act of wickedness and oppression in the state,” the PDP added.
But Akeredolu said the allegation that he has ‘mortgaged’ the welfare of workers in the state in order to procure a favourable judgement at the Supreme Court is laughable.
Akeredolu, who spoke in a statement signed by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, acknowledged that workers are entitled to their wages and the right to demand legitimate entitlements attributed the current global economic situation to the unpaid salaries.
He, however, queried: “For what purpose was the unpaid seven months salaries under the last PDP administration mortgaged? Of truth, workers are entitled to their wages and are indeed, right to demand legitimate entitlements. It is, all the same, heart-warming to note that the same workers are not oblivious of the current global economic straits.
“That Ondo State is not insulated from this fiscal ravage is saying the obvious. Yet, the Akeredolu shall not follow the path of infamy and sack workers as it was in the days of PDP.
“It is rather, equally more gratifying to evolve ingenious means to sail along than leave workers unpaid for months under the guise of the paucity of funds.
“It is, perhaps, laughable that PDP failed to realise that its position grossly violates what it represented while it held sway in Ondo State prior to the current administration.
“The mindless audacity to owe workers seven months, as well as the brazen display of executive recklessness that saw to the sack of over 1,000 workers, have both combined to repudiate the opposition party thrive at demonising Akeredolu and his government.”
Speaking on the plan to procure judgement at the Supreme Court, the statement said: “The Ondo State Government led by Akeredolu, shall not, at this instance, serve as the Supreme Court’s mouthpiece in the face of the PDP’s uncanny attacks.
“It is, however, disturbing to note that a political party, ostensibly speaking for a Senior Advocate, could descend to the unpardonable abyss of branding Honourable Justices of the Apex Court ‘procurable’ items in the course of their duties to the Nation.
“The said press release has merely made spurious allegations aside laying a sandy foundation ahead of the PDP’s leprous efforts at the Supreme Court.
“There could not have been a better effort at marketing helplessness occasioned by the paucity of ideas and lack of direction as displayed by the press release. It showcases ignorantly, PDP’s further slide on the rough path to depression. From all indications, Ondo State does not deserve to be in the hands of these scavenging elements collectively christened PDP.
“The fact that the party does not know how allocations are disbursed from Abuja, dispensed and spent at the state depicts a pitifully demeaning scenario for the party. Alluding to a theatric ‘across-the-counter exchange of funds between a Governor and the CBN or whoever’ speaks volume of the ilk that comprises PDP.
“For the records, allocations are not paid into private accounts; they are paid into government accounts managed by relevant authorities, who are civil servants. In the case of Ondo State, stakeholders, particularly the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) play a principal role in the disbursement/allocation of funds in line with available funds.
“The PDP is, therefore, admonished to focus on its appeal at the Supreme Court and pursue same with the desired legal industry and zeal rather than this voyage of self-denial,” it added.
Recall that the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, recently dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of PDP in the October 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, against the election of Akeredolu of APC, saying the case lacks merit.