PDP has advised Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, to sell the helicopter purchased for security surveillance and stop ‘wasteful spending’ in order to raise money so as to pay salaries of workers in the state.
Mr. Diran Odeyemi, who is the Director of Media and Strategy of the PDP in Osun State, gave this advice in a statement made available to PUNCH correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday. The statement read, “The PDP is urging the government to sell the helicopter Governor Aregbesola said was procured for the state. He should also stop frivolous trips to Cuba.
“What this administration told us was that the helicopter was to be used for surveillance, but we have since discovered that the machine is only serving the travelling needs of Mr. Aregbesola and his family. This remains one draining pipe that must be blocked.
“The governor and his aides should also forthwith stop travelling in chartered aircraft around the world. If President Muhammadu Buhari could be travelling on British Airways, even when aircrafts in presidential fleet are available, there is the need for Governor Aregbesola to borrow a leaf.” The opposition party also accused the governor of wasting the state’s resources on politics and arming of a group of youth he called “State Boys.” The PDP called on the newly elected members of the Osun State House of Assembly not to turn themselves to rubber stamp of the executive arm of the government. According to the party, the people of the state now place their hope on the lawmakers to check the ‘excesses of the governor’ in the interest of the masses. The statement read further, “The whole world is aware of the fact that former Ekiti lawmakers were heavily bribed on the bill of Osun State for several months, where they mapped out strategies on how to impeach Governor Fayose. “It is also fresh in minds the huge amount Ogbeni Aregbesola expended on the last Ekiti State governorship poll, Lagos State governorship poll and the Presidential project of the All Progressive Congress. “Also, a group of miscreants called “State Boys” are being illegally armed and financed by the government to unleash terror on many indigenes of the state by the ruling party. “All these actions and many others wasteful spending led us to where we are now, which if they could be reversed, could bring financial reserves to the state. “But if Ogbeni Aregbesola will not treat this advice with disdain, and henceforth, begin to act as the governor of all, we believe at least he will be able to pay few months of the backlog of salaries owed workers and retirees.” However, the governor described the suggestions and allegations from the opposition party as infantile. Speaking through a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said the PDP was just seeking cheap publicity with their suggestions and spurious allegations. The statement read, “The suggestion shows clearly how degenerate the PDP has become in the thinking process of its leaders to have come up with the selling of a mere helicopter in order to pay salaries. “It is disheartening this is how degenerate the PDP has become in their thinking process. They screamed ignorantly about two years ago that Osun procured a helicopter with a sum of N8bn. We had asked them to find out the cost of a Boeing plane, let alone a helicopter which was only leased and it was to beef up the Osun Swift Action Squad (SAS) for its aerial surveillance. This was clear to all in the state that the helicopter was procured as part of the Rauf Aregbesola administration’s comprehensive security measures to drive criminals far away from the state. “For the PDP in its narrow and pedestrian thinking to tell us to sell the helicopter is a sign of intellectual laziness. The allegations that Aregbesola uses the helicopter for his personal use lack any evidence. “It is obvious that the PDP, after it has reached its final bus stop of defeat rigmarole, as typified by the Supreme Court decision of May 27, is merely looking for something to keep it relevant. “But come to think of it! What could be relevant in a party that never had any touch with the people? What could be relevant in a party that cannot even organise itself to give credible and virile opposition? It is therefore certain that allegations, such as Aregbesola financing Lagos, Ekiti and Muhammadu Buhari’s elections are not only laughable; they demonstrate the fact that the PDP cannot even be rescued from its self- inflicted tragedy. It is a party eternally rejected.” “This certainly cannot be the path to go if its intention is to be an opposition party. An opposition party that will help the people to know what the people want. “The people of Osun need adequate security which PDP failed to provide throughout Nigeria in its 16 years of misrule. The People of Osun require good governance which the PDP could not give them. I therefore advise that shameful lies such as those Odeyemi cooked up again and threw to the media would not help the party. They would help sink it deeper.”