Sunday, November 3, 2013

PDP members are the fraudsters — Osun govt

The Osun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Sunday Akere, in this
interview withFEMI MAKINDE, says the Peoples Democratic Party in the
state is fabricating lies to justify its looming loss at the next
governorship poll
TheAPC was accused of carrying out illegal voter registration inside
the Government House with the connivance of the Independent National
Electoral Commission. How do you react to this?
It is a pity that instead of grappling with the problem confronting
the PDP in the state, the leadership of the party is bent on
distracting us from the good work we are doing. The government of Rauf
Aregbesola or the governor himself has nothing to do with the
registration of voters. Registration for elections is the business of
INEC and there is no way voter registration can be done in the
Government House, which is a public property. The Government House is
open for everybody to enter. The PDP is making such spurious
allegation because the party is never known to be involved in anything
decent; they are always involved in illegalities and that is why they
are raising such allegation. The period of Osun Osogbo Festival is
known for festivities and enjoyment. How can anybody say he will be
involved in such, when the whole town is jam-packed? They don't have
anything reasonable to say and we refuse to be distracted by their
Those in the PDP are afraid because they know that they have since
lost everything that has to do with popularity; they know that the
volume of work already done by Aregbesola in the state is more than
enough to campaign for him; they know that their party is heading for
a big defeat at the poll. They are raising issues that are not
supposed to be brought up because they know that people will ask them
what they did with the state's resources when they were in government
for seven-and-half years.
This administration, according to the PDP, has borrowed N311bn with
nothing to show for it. Is this true?
The problem with the PDP is that they are populated with stark
illiterates and I am sorry to say this. In Nigeria today, out of 25
banks legally registered, there is none of them that will lend you
more than how much you have the capacity to pay back. Let us look at
it this way: if you approach a bank for a loan, the first thing they
will ask for is the collateral, which must be higher in values than
the loan you want to take. If you they saying Osun has borrowed over
N300bn, that means Osun is worth more than N900bn. What comes to the
state per month is around N4bn, out of which salaries are paid. Even
if you say we have N2bn left, what that amounts to at the end of the
year is N24bn. Multiply this in four places (four years), what does it
give you? How can you say banks will borrow you far more than what you
can pay back in four years, which is a single tenure. The PDP in Osun
is full of illiterates. They are free to say anything they like, we
are not bothered. We don't want to be distracted. They know we are
working and that is why they are saying all these. When they were in
government, they borrowed N18.38bn and withdrew N10bn from it in a day
and there was nothing to show for the N10bn.
What Aregbesola is doing today is called financial re-engineering. The
contractors working with us have trust in us and majority of the
projects are contractor-financed projects. The PDP does not know
anything like that and that is why they keep saying we are borrowing
money to do what we are doing. We are constructing the airport in
Osogbo with less than N5bn. But they were here (in government); they
put up a paper that they committed N9bn to the same project and there
was nothing to show for it. We are not bothered by their allegations
because they are confirmed fraudsters and the people of the state know
What is the debt profile of Osun State?
The commissioner for finance says it all the time; the governor
himself says it always and anybody that has knowledge about financing
will know it. When we presented the 2013 budget to the state House of
Assembly, we stated there that we were to take N35bn through loan
financing. To make up this, we took a bond of N30bn and the state is
not committed more than that.
Your party seems to be ready to take the advantage of the crisis
rocking the PDP in the state to win the 2014 governorship election in
the state
Even before the crisis was blown open to the public, everybody knew
that the PDP was finished. They are only living on past glory; they
are living on the greed, which is the binding force within the party.
The PDP is divided into about four factions now. There is the old PDP,
the New PDP has been accused of taking the PDM and one other faction.
We are not waiting for this (the division). Our party has worked
seriously to ensure that in 2014, we are going to win convincingly. If
you look at the composition of the APC, you will know that the party,
is waiting to form the government at the national level and is ready
to continue as the ruling party in Osun.
Why is the governor trying to constitute the Osun State Independent
Electoral Commission considering that a case on this is pending before
the Supreme Court?
The governor sent names of those to be appointed as chairman and
members of the state electoral body to the State House of Assembly for
ratification. We are not undermining whatever verdict the Supreme
Court will come up with. We know that the people that went to the
court were members of the old OSSIEC. Our lawmakers went to court
challenging the modalities used for screening members of the old
OSSIEC and they won at the High Court in Osogbo. The OSSIEC members
that lost challenged the victory at the Appeal Court, where they lost.
They now want to challenge it at the Supreme Court. We believe it is a
process, we are democrats and we are committed to the people of the
state. We have waited for so long; we have waited for almost three
years thinking this thing would be dispensed soon. What we are doing
now is preparing for the next year. We know that before the process of
screening will be concluded, the matter must have been dispensed at
the Supreme Court. We know that they cannot win in the case because
the facts are clear regarding the procedures that were supposed to be
followed in screening members of the electoral body. Due processes
were not followed. We know that they cannot win and we don't want to
be delayed. That is why we are prepared to conduct the local
government poll, which will entrench democratic structures in the
local government councils.
Why did the state government postpone public schools' resumption?
What we are doing is re-ordering of the education sector. We promised
during our campaign in 2007 to provide free and functional education,
as one of the pillars of our six-point integral action plan. In doing
this, we convoked an education summit and we came up with what we are
doing know.
We have started reclassification of the school structure: one, we have
elementary model schools, which is for Primary I to Primary IV. We
have middle model schools for Primary V to JS III, and we have the
High School, which is for SS I to SS III. If you look around the
state today, you will see that the government is in the process of
building several school structures to make us effectively perfect and
complete the ongoing reclassification. What we are doing by extending
school resumption by two weeks is to give the committee in charge a
sufficient time to complete what it is doing. This is for the benefits
of everybody; the pupils, the parents, the teachers and the
How will you react to allegations of capital flight levelled against
this administration?
There is no contract awarded by this government that we did not
indicate that local inputs must be there. When the PDP was in power,
how many Osun State indigenes did they patronise? Their contractors
were from outside the state. The little money in circulation then was
what they were sharing. Before this administration came in, if you
drove around Osogbo till around 2pm, you would see bricklayers,
carpenters and others loitering around the Old Garage, waiting to be
engaged. The situation has changed. Go there by 8:30am, all of them
are already working at one construction site or another. Look at the
10km road projects by the local government councils, which of the
contractors is not from Osun?

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