Osun Election: ‘Why Buhari Secretly Paid N16bn Paris Club Refund To Osun’


Kolawole, Accountant General, Resigns
Govs Angry Over Payment To Osun
 
 Ahead of the upcoming governorship election in Osun State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the federal government of secretly releasing the sum of N16.6 billion Paris Club refund to the state.
PDP alleged that part of the fund was meant to “bribe” leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support Buhari’s re-election bid.
A statement by PDP’ s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan stressed that the illegal diversion of public fund was tantamount to corruption on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari.
His statement reads, “Further investigation reveals that bulk of the money has already been pencilled for sharing to APC leaders, especially at the national level, as bribe, to short-circuit the system to favour Buhari’s reelection bid, while the people of Osun continue to suffer deprivation.
“The PDP has been further made aware of how part of the fund will be moved to private company accounts as well as various hidden locations for the compromised INEC officials and APC leaders.
“Indeed, these revelations have clearly shown that the Buhari Presidency and the APC care less about the welfare of Nigerians and have completely sold themselves to sleazes and corruption for selfish gains.”
Kolawole, Accountant General, Resigns

Meanwhile, things, however, took a different turn last week over alleged instructions issued to Kolawole on election campaign funds, which he found odd and unable to carry out.
To shield himself from any trouble, Kolawole was said to have offered to disengage from service immediately on Friday after which he wrote the banks where the state’s accounts are domiciled to inform them that he will no longer be a signatory to the state accounts effective from Monday, September 10, 2018. Reacting to the development, the Osun State government declared that the Accountant General, Mr Kolawole, did not resign his appointment as being insinuated, but retired on account of reaching the age of 60 years few days back, in line with the civil service rules and practice.
The government described the rumour as untrue and should be disregarded. The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, who disclosed this yesterday in a statement in Osogbo, the state capital, said that Kolawole had served the state meritoriously in various capacities since he joined the service some decades ago.
He added that he was appointed as Accountant General by Governor Aregbesola in 2012 when he (Kolawole) reached the pinnacle of his career.
Osun State governor Aregbesola and other APC chieftains strategizing ahead of Osun election
Govs angry over N16.67b secret payment to Osun
The Federal Government had in March, 2018 claimed that it had so far shared N1.9 trillion among states as support from the Paris Club refund.
State governors across party lines are presently fuming over an alleged secret payment of N16.67 billion, said to be the last tranche of Paris Club refund payment to Osun state government.
The state government was in December 2017 paid along other states by the federal government the third tranche of the refund, amounting to N6.3 billion.
Paris Club refund is a partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) payments for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.
Three tranches had been released earlier to all the states, with the last released alongside the December 2017 federal allocations to enable most of the states owing months of staff salaries offset the backlog.
At least three state governors from both the ruling APC and opposition PDP who spoke to Saturday Sun on the latest payment expressed anger over the secret manner the payment was made to only Osun. They argued that the refund was made to empower the state government successfully prosecute the September 22 governorship election in which the APC candidate, Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola is facing a strong challenge from the candidates of at least three other parties; PDP, ADP and SDP.
 “All states and governors need money at this critical time to pay workers salaries and provide basic infrastructure needed by our people but instead of the federal government treating us equally, they have chosen to pay only Osun state this huge sum at the expense of the rest of us who are equally in dire need of whatever refund we have left”, one of the state governors told Saturday Sun yesterday.
Another governor who also sounded unhappy about the development said “the secret payment was all geared towards mobilizing for APC in the coming governorship election in Osun and certainly not for the state workers. Otherwise, it should have been a general and open payment to all the states.”
The third governor who also said he got wind of the payment vowed that he was going to mobilise his colleagues to pressure the federal government to release whatever is due to other states without further delay. “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”, he stressed.
The Federal Government had in March, 2018 claimed that it had so far shared N1.9 trillion among states as support from the Paris Club refund. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known in his address at the fourth edition of the Ogun Investors’ Forum in Abeokuta.
  The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had continued to extend equal and unbiased support to states of the federation regardless of party affiliations. He said it would be difficult to point to any government that had been more supportive in the development of the ambitions of states as the present administration.
Osinbajo said,  no fewer than 26 of the 36 states in Nigeria could not pay the salaries of their workers when the present administration assumed power in 2015. Osinbajo explained that the federal government, however, came to their rescue by extending funds to them.

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