Shortly after former Speaker, Mr Dele Olugbemi rejected Governor Ayodele state Fayose’s appointment as a member of the House of Assembly Commission, the APC went to town with the diatribe that the governor had used and dumped the former Speaker. To rub it in, they added he was doing nothing to pay workers their salaries. In his explaination for rejecting the appointment, Mr Olugbemi stated personal reasons without indicating any political motive.
But the APC would not relent, prompting the governor to make a statement on both charges by the political opposition. The Ekiti State government in its reaction to allegations that it is paying only salaries with allocations that accrued to the state while neglecting physical development of the state, said the opposition was doing nothing but propaganda. Governor Fayose had been accused by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, that he was “not doing anything other than payment of salaries” and that he “used and dumped Mr. Dele Olugbemi,” a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly.
The ex-Speaker had rejected the governor’s appointment as member of the state House of Assembly Commission. But Governor Fayose, in rejecting the accusations, expressed concern, saying the “opposition is just out to misinform the people in their usual mischief and malice.” Speaking for the governor, his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi said Olugbemi, who stood by Governor Fayose in the peak of attempts by former APC lawmakers to impeach him was never used and dumped as the opposition APC is alleging, adding that “the allegation is not true.” He said: “It is not true that Governor Fayose dumped him.
The Governor appointed him a commissioner member of Ekiti State House of Assembly Commission. He earns same salary and entitlements like other commissioners. What else does he want? “Tunji Odeyemi who is the commission’s chairman was the speaker during the time of Segun Oni and also acting governor of the state. Is Olugbemi asking that he should be placed above Odeyemi? “I don’t know of any other way the Governor can treat him. Mind you, if you have assisted anybody in life, it is God who used you, much as God can decide to use somebody else if you declined. In everything, we should give glory to God.”
Adelusi urged the people of the state to continue to support the government, saying the governor was determined to leave the state better than he met it. In his reaction, the former speaker of Ekiti state house of Assembly, Dele Olugbemi has said his rejection of member of Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission was based on principle, and to send out message that the era of sole administrator ship has become outlandish and democratic ethos must be imbibed in the running of government.
The former lawmaker who was speaking with reporters for the first time since he shunned the screening and confirmation of members of the assembly commission appointed by Governor Fayose, said the Governor had set up an appointment committee to draw the template on how the appointment will be distributed among members of the party. The committee was made up of himself , Senator Awoyelu as chairman, while Bar Obafemi Adewale was the secretary , including some other eminent personalities.
According to him , the committee met only once, and the appointment was done solely by Mr. Governor without taking equity, zone and local government interest into consideration . “I was dumbstruck when I was told about the news of my appointment on the radio” . He further explained that before he was informed on the radio, Mr Fayose who has since stopped picking his calls and sent him a text message that a former member of House of Representatives had been lobbying the post that if he (Olugbemi) rejected the post that he would have no option other than to oblige the former member of the house of Reps.
Olugbemi who frowned at the way the appointment was done, also stressed that if in the space of announcing few appointments and more than seven persons had rejected the appointment, including the appointment secretary , it tells that the appointment lacked credibility. He said: “My sacrifice remains invaluable and people appreciate my efforts by the messages of encouragement and encomiums showered on me everyday . “The scares of the struggle are still fresh on me. But my Oga accused me of disloyalty”. He explained that Mr Fayose accused him of threatening resignation and not loyal to him during the tussle between the Governor and the G-19 of the APC . Olugbemi who expressed dismay, also asked rhetorically “what’s the price of being loyal ? I was operating as a speaker without any entitlement, my aides were denied their salaries, yet we are working for him, believing that our labour will be appreciated one day”.
While pledging that he would continue to challenge any perceived undemocratic tendency of Mr Fayose through strong and constructive engagement, he called on the Governor to stop his tactics of use and dump, stressing that he has done it to the likes of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oyinlola, Omisore, Femi Bamisile , Tope Aluko, Arinka. In further defense of the governor Adelusi said that the governor “will continue to develop the state beyond where his predecessors left it and he will continue to accord priority to payment of workers’ salaries.” Adelusi added in a statement in reaction to the allegations that “it would not do the people of the state any good if the government embarks on projects that would end up as white elephants, while the people lack money to take care of their basic needs.”
According to Adelusi, “those insinuating that the governor was not doing many capital project are only being mischievous,” saying “the meagre resources coming to the state are being judiciously managed.” While noting the “actually, certain projects are ongoing,” Adelusi said: “Because Governor Fayose is kind-hearted and knows what salary is to an average worker, he made payment of salaries a priority. It is the sweat of the ordinary worker and would not want to deprive them.
“We see salary as something that if paid, you take care of many things and people. Market women will also get theirs as well as artisans.” He said: “Therefore, the governor gave standing instruction that whenever allocation comes, salary is the priority. We need at least N2.6 billion monthly to pay salaries and give subvention to agencies and institutions. “Sometimes we do have shortfall, for example in June 2014, the Fayemi administration got much as N3.9 billion allocation, but same time this year, we got N1.8 billion, about 53.4 per cent.” Speaking on projects embarked by Governor Fayose in his second coming, Adelusi said “he has built the Bisi Market in Ado-Ekiti and we are working on others such as the Oja Oba and Awedele markets,” adding that “road projects are going on in Bawa-Irewumi-Iyin Road; the dualisation of Awedele Road, Car wash – Afao Road, building of drainages, dredging of canals and other ongoing MDG projects.
-Emmanuel Ani in Ado Ekiti X-rays the triangular battle of wits going on between Governor Fayose, the opposition APC and Ex-Speaker Olugbemi who rejected an appointment by the governor.