THE opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the Ondo State governorship election has challenged Rotimi Akeredolu, the incumbent governor of Ondo State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to investigate the alleged missing N700 million COVID-19 fund.
Kola Ologbondiyan, the Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee of the Campaign Council said in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja that the party’s demand followed an alleged diversion of COVID-19 palliative funds by certain officials of the Akeredolu-led administration.
“We challenge Governor Akeredolu to within three days, set up an independent inquiry into these allegations if his administration has no skeleton in its cupboard,” Ologbondiyan said in the statement.
“This is especially given the conflicting denials by members of the Ondo COVID-19 Response Team over the whereabouts of over N700 million intervention fund.”
He stated that if the hands of the administration were clean, Akeredolu would have ordered an investigation into the alleged missing fund.
“Indeed any clean, transparent and upright administration that had not soiled its hand and which has the interest of the people at heart, would have ordered an open investigation, secure and channel the resources to the wellbeing of the people.
“Given its penchant for condoning corruption and wicked embezzlement of public funds, the APC administration in Ondo state had remained less forthcoming, while officials continue with conflicting denials and endless buck-passing,” he added.
According to him, Akeredolu should have ordered an investigation into the allegations amid the Ondo State’s failure to pay some health workers in the state.
“This is in addition to the circumstances surrounding the failure of the state to pay certain health workers in the past 15 months, despite their participation in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.
The opposition party further challenged the governor to account for the funds from ‘various levies and taxes’ collected from the residents and business owners in the state.
“Furthermore, our campaign challenges Governor Akeredolu to account for the proceeds of various levies and taxes collected by his administration, using numerous platforms to fleece the poor masses, including market women, transporters, artisans, small business owners among others in the state,” Ologbondiyan said.
“It is therefore not surprising that the Ondo people abandoned Governor Akeredolu and pitched their tent with our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN, in their collective quest to end the misrule which the Akeredolu administration represents, and no amount of blackmail, threats, and violence by the APC will deter the Ondo people in this resolve.”
On October 10, Akeredolu, candidate of the APC, Jegede of the PDP and others would face off in an election to decide the winner of the state gubernatorial election.