Indigenes of Osun State besieged National Assembly entrance protesting against the Governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola for allegedly running the state aground.
Indigenes of Osun State under the aegis of Civil Societies Coalition of Osun State (CSCOS), on Monday besieged National Assembly entrance protesting against the Governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola for allegedly running the state aground.
The coordinator of the group while speaking Comrade Adeniyi Suleiman alleged that the governor had rendered the state bankrupt with his bad governance over the years as shown with nonpayment of workers’ salaries, pension for retirees and general welfare packages for the citizenry.
He said they were at the National Assembly to appeal to both the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on a “Save our Soul Mission”.
He specifically called for the takeover of the state by the National Assembly to rid it of Aregbesola’s mis-governance which according to them, had led to untimely death of several indigenes of the state within the last one year on account of nonpayment of workers’ salaries and heavy debt burden.
According to him, the governor , had over the years been diverting and embezzling monies meant for the general wellbeing of citizens in the state into his pocket, one of which was the N34billion bailout fund granted the state by the federal government in July last year.
His words: “We are here based on the situation in Osun State. We are here to lodge our bitter complaint for the Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives. Osun State is now a state of jeopardy because Governor Rauf Aregbesola embezzled, diverted, encroached and scrutinized Osun State resources into his own personal account and had refused to pay the salary of workers and the pension of pensioners including gratuities.
“The people are not benefiting from the dividends of democracy in Osun State. That is why we are here to protest to the National Assembly through our petition.
“We are calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences (ICPC), to take action. We have a lot of evidences which are contained in our petitions to them.
“Aregbesola also diverted N34bn bailout fund to his own personal account because he refused to use the money to pay salaries of workers, retirees and pensioners. All the projects he claimed to have executed are half done; he is only using propaganda to govern Osun State. That is why we are rejecting his government”.
Nailing the governor further, another member of the group, Bishop Seun Adeoye, said due to Aregbesola’s profligacy, Osun state is now receiving zero allocation from federation account.
He said: “The state received N2.4bn last month but when the banks deducted debts from the source, the FAAC said the state still had N24m to pay to the federation account in the month. The debt Aregbesola took on behalf of the state, cannot be paid back until after 35 years”.
But in a swift reaction to the protest, the Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) described as political and insincere the rally of the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
OCSC, in a press statement by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Comrade Abiodun Ibrahim, said that the rally was being sponsored by opposition party to destabilize the state. Ibrahim accused a sitting judge of the Osun state High Court, Justice Oloyede Folahanmi of mobilizing members of the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state for the protest.
The statement reads in part: : “The Chairman of the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state, Mr Adeniyi Sulaimon, Director Media and Publicity of the group, Mr Seun Adeoye, Mr Olukanni Yemi Oyedeji and other members of the group were brought by Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede as witnesses at the National Judicial Council (NJC) headquarters in Abuja on Monday for her defence against the petition written to the NJC by the Osun Civil Societies Coalition (OCSC) on her petition against Aregbesola.
“We are confused on the intention of both the judge and the witnesses at the NJC. Could it be that the judge mobilized them to Abuja for the protest or they were sponsored by the People’s Democratic Party [PDP], Osun state to show support for Justice Folahanmi Oloyede on her case?
“We wonder how a mission to serve as witness to a case turned to political protest against the governor. We want members of the public to reason on the action of the judge and the members of the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state”
Ibrahim maintained that the purported financial crisis of the state on which the rally is to be held, is gradually fading out with the payment of workers’ salaries and commencement of infrastructural projects.
He added that that the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, on Monday commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the disbursement of the bailout used to offset the backlog of the salary debt.
“There was no justification for the rally, if not to speed off campaign of calumny against the government as being dictated by the opposition party”, he declared.
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