The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has criticised Governor Ayodele Fayose over his failure to pay workers’ salary arrears.
It said the governor’s preference for building airport, new market and fly-over bridge contradicted his campaign slogan to “tar stomachs” before embarking on physical infrastructure.
It added that it was sheer opportunism and lack of integrity to deceive the people during campaigns with mouth-watering promises only to turn around to deny them after getting to power to pursue selfish agenda.
Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement on Sunday that the governor had been playing games with the intelligence of Ekiti people since the assumption of office in his programme implementation policy.
“We knew from the outset that Governor Fayose had no programme that could lift Ekiti people out of poverty.
“At best, his stomach infrastructure slogan was meant to dishonestly set Ekiti people, particularly workers, against the immediate past government of Dr Kayode Fayemi, which embarked on massive infrastructure development for socio-economic needs of Ekiti people.
“As anti-development politician with an eye on wealth accumulation, Fayose started touting ‘stomach infrastructure’ with the promise never to owe workers salaries because people must eat first before embarking on physical infrastructure.
“Now, the governor has turned full circle, telling workers that they should expect pay three times in a year while embarking on multi-billion naira bridge, market and airport projects,” he explained.
Insisting that Fayose embarked on these projects to feather his nest, Olatunbosun said: “Even though he criticised Fayemi for borrowing money for development purposes, Fayose has gone to borrow N10 billion to construct a needless flyover while workers and pensioners are being owed between five and six months in arrears. The money was in a fixed account over a period of time but Fayose has not told Ekiti people how much interest has accrued on the money.”
Wondering over the sudden change of policy from stomach infrastructure to physical infrastructure, he said the governor’s new attitude could not be divorced from the “20 percent syndrome in government contracts award in Ekiti State, in which case public funds end up in private pockets”.
Describing the governor’s treatment of workers as “ungodly and sheer wickedness”, he said the effect of non-payment of salaries had crippled the local economy which mainly depended on monthly salary.
“Fayose has not paid teachers, local government workers and state retirees their benefits running into billions of naira, yet he sees nothing wrong in borrowing N10 billion to build a flyover to nowhere even when the governor knows that Ekiti people don’t need any flyover in that area of the state capital that doesn’t pose any traffic challenge.
“But Ekiti people know that these capital projects are the only sure way public funds can end up in private pockets as usual while workers’ salaries and other entitlements are left unpaid,” Olatunbosun explained.
He also accused the governor of deceit and high-handedness by attacking the NLC officials who demanded explanation on a month’s salary.
“This is the governor that has been deceiving the workers and general public that he carries workers along in the issues relating to the state finances, yet he tongue-lashed same workers when they pointed out that billions of naira are supposed to be on ground to settle some of their entitlements if quarterly payment of salary has become official policy.
“Instead of offering explanations, Fayose flared up and walked out on them because he could not account for the money just as he could not account for September 2014 teachers’ salary after collecting state’s allocation for that month,” he added.
Accusing the governor of deceit, he said Fayose intentionally destroyed cash crops of hapless farmers running into millions of naira under the guise of constructing an airport, which he knew the court would stop.
“Fayose knew that the illegal way he was taking in the airport project would render it comatose, but then he had also set his eyes on the personal gains for illegally seizing the farmlands, which were flattened by bulldozers hired at over-bloated contract sums of millions of naira.
“This is the same way he demolished market stalls and has refused to make alternative affordable provision for the poor market women while imposing heavy tax burden on the already impoverished people and put the proceeds in accounts that cannot be traced.
“We can only sympathise with Ekiti workers, pensioners, market women and school children who are now paying taxes and urge them to keep praying for divine intervention to deliver them from Fayose’s heavy yoke,” he concluded.