Governor, Ademola Adeleke of Osun State and his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola, yesterday, traded words over the alleged looting of the state governor’s lodge in Abuja.
Adeleke, in a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, stated that the State Asset Inventory and Recovery Committee, during a visit to the lodge, discovered serious pilfering of assets, like it was done in the Osun.
But Oyetola’s spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, described the allegation as a mere distraction, saying Governor Adeleke is not ready for governance.
On the alleged looting, the Osun governor said: “On the physical inspection team was the Chairman of Assets Recovery Committee, Dr B.T Salam, and other top government functionaries.
“The lodge was stripped of all valuables acquired with public funds by those officials of the past administration. From the main house to the service flats and up to the boys’ quarters, clear indications of valuables removed can be observed. Items such as television sets, chairs, foams, electrical fittings, bed sheets, spoons and cutleries, among other valuables were illegally removed from the lodge.
“Every utility vehicle procured for use in the lodge was also carted away from the building. The lodge was in a terrible state and similar to the way we found the Deputy Governor’s quarters and others at the Government House in Osogbo following the brazen looting of that facility.
“Civil servants in the Abuja lodge confirmed the pillaging of state’s assets by Mr Oyetola’s men but said they were powerless in stopping them. That this happened in the Federal Capital Territory is another peep into the gross abuse of office by officials of the past administration. Those who think we were playing politics with the revelation only just need to see the level of theft of public assets that we found on the ground.”
But faulting the state government’s allegation, Mr Omipidan described the claim as a mere diversionary tactic by the governor to cover up his unpreparedness to govern Osun.
“Recall that when he inaugurated his transition committee in July, one of the terms of reference of the committee was to design for the governor what he would do within his first 100 days in office. And I said clearly then that these people were not ready for governance. We all can see now. It is manifesting.
“First, they alleged it was my Principal who looted. I came up with the inventory and the fact that the new governor’s security operatives took charge of the Government House on November 26 and that by 27, which was the inauguration day, they held a party there. But by December 1, they came up with a lie to say the place was looted. To date, they have not controverted the facts I laid bare.
“Today, they have started another lie. I say for the umpteenth time that my Principal did not loot any State assets. Therefore, this government should stop these blanket statements of accusing Oyetola and his men of what they did not do and face governance.”
Adeleke suspends illegal mining in Osun
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke, yesterday, suspended illegal mining activities in the state, directing the arrest and prosecution of illegal mining syndicates across the state minefields.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Solid Mineral Sector and Revenue Committees, at the Imole House in Osogbo, the governor said: “This committee is saddled with the serious assignment of recovering and protecting our common assets and our God-given solid mineral resources.
“The state has been subjected to intense environmental degradation arising from activities of mining companies. River Osun has been polluted and our people are dying as related sicknesses are spreading. These are sad realities which none of the mining companies has raised a finger to address. My administration will insist on the companies paying for the cleaning up of our rivers and environment. Segilola and other companies operating in our state should take note that cleaning up our environment is going to be a continuous exercise and the resulting expenditure is to be borne by the companies. I will not allow the Osun people to continue to be exposed to polluted river water and the state to be so cheated.
“My administration is conducting an audit of Osun assets in the mining sector. All state mining licences already diverted to private possession must be fully recovered.
“All illegal mining activities must stop immediately. Henceforth, all illegal mining syndicates will be arrested and prosecuted.”