A human rights group, the Conference of Nigeria Civil Rights Activists, CNCRA, on Friday urged the President Mohamadu Buhari and Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to withhold the monthly allocation meant for Ondo State till the exit of Governor Olusegun Mimiko next year.
The group in a statement signed by its Convener, Ifeanyi Odilli, advised the Mimiko against awarding ‘phoney contracts’ and ‘auctioning government properties’ before leaving office on February 23rd, 2017.
“We also call on President Mohammadu Buhari and the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, to without delay, authorize the withholding of further federal allocation outside values for workers salaries, to Ondo state, pending the exit of Dr Olusegun Mimiko as Governor,” the group said.
Emphasizing further, CNCRA, who is an offshoot of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) stressed thus; “Our faultless inside sources in government have also alerted us with proof that the outgoing government has also perfected plans to award series of multi billion naira contracts despite already incurring a debt burden running to Two Hundred and Forty-Five Billion Naira for the state in the last 8 years.
“To this effect, the CNCRA cautions Ondo state civil servants not to play to the gallery by aiding and abetting illegal, criminal and senseless activities in their respective ministries, agencies and parastatals.
“It must be recalled that the CNCRA had before election accused Ondo state Governor Olusegun Mimiko of a systematic looting of state treasury through alleged mindless award of phoney contracts on the eve of the 2015 Presidential election.
“We had alerted the nation to the sudden and emergency award of OKITIPUPA – Oluwa – IRELE road, Ugbo – Ugbonla road, Igbokoda township roads, Akoko inter roads. The purpose of these phantom projects was not just to move out sleaze funds for election and personal enrichment, it was also to dazzle and deceive the electorate in those locations to grab their votes.
“Painfully and shamefully, all the so called awarded projects were abandoned immediately after elections, leaving the people with a sad tale of woes and regrets. It is shocking and amazing that instead of working out a detailed handover document to his successor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, Governor Mimiko can contemplate awarding new white elephant and needless projects.
“We therefore view this manner of awarding contracts at this dying moment of the outgoing administration as dishonest and a complete disservice to the people.
“Financial institutions are not left out of this call. We are warning them against approving or granting any loan request by the outgoing administration. May banks and financial institutions note that collaborating with an outgoing administration to defraud or peril the state is not only immoral but an act of deliberate sabotage that will attract both civil and legal consequences.
“We are emphasizing this because the two times bailout funds approved for distressed states by the Federal Government were not judiciously spent in Ondo state, rather it was squandered on irrelevances and phantom projects, thereby occasioning unimaginable pains, anxiety and regrets on the people. It is important to state that despite the bailout, the state government under the watch of Governor Mimiko still owes the state workers not less than seven months salaries while his family members and cronies are living in opulence and mindless profligacy.
“We are fully conscious of the fact that Mimiko is handing over a state in deep financial crisis to his successor. We are also not unmindful of the standard procedure of politicians of outgoing governments in Nigeria, which is to plunder Government coffers and pilfer its assets state-wide.
“In view of all of the above, the CNCRA wishes to advise the Governor-elect Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN to most expeditiously lead the engagement with the President of Nigeria on how to prevent looting, stealing and outright last minute corruption in Ondo state. Akeredolu must know that he will be judged not by his captivating speeches and puritanical postures, but by his activities to provide responsible leadership at these difficult times.
“Citizens, particularly workers of Ondo state are also encouraged to bear with the new government, watch it closely, pray fervently and not lose hope for the redemption of their fortunes.”