The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has accused the Federal Government of directing the Federal Ministry of Finance to withhold the January Federal Allocation and the Budget Support Fund due to Ekiti State.
The Federal Government, the governor argued, did this because of his criticisms of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He also accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of embarking on a witch-hunt of the contractors handling the state’s projects in order to frustrate his government and prepare the ground for the All Progressives Congress’ return.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, Fayose said the latest onslaught against his government was deliberate because no excuse had been given by the Federal Ministry of Finance for withdrawing the money after first crediting the state’s account.
The governor said “If you bring the whole EFCC and withhold Ekiti money, I will not change my position. There should be a viral opposition, the country is for everybody. Oppressing people with the instruments of office is not in line with the constitution.”
Fayose said he had written a letter to the Federal Ministry of Finance, while the state Commissioner for Finance, Toyin Ojo, had also gone there and to the Central Bank of Nigeria, but there was no response.
“We contacted the honourable minister (Mrs. Kemi Adeosun) and all the directors at the Ministry of Finance; everybody is shying away from talking to us for the last 10 days now.
“It is important to note that the allocation and budget support from Abuja is our legitimate right. We have done the needful on our part and nobody from their end has queried the process. I don’t know why the average civil servant in Ekiti State should be made to suffer because of politics? It is not my salary, it is the salary of the Ekiti civil servants.
“Doing this in the name of politics and to destabilise this state is not in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’’.
“I’m reminding them and speaking to Nigerians that the statutory allocation for local governments in Lagos State was stopped then by the Federal Government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo and it was fought until the money was paid back. I think we have gone past that kind of episode,” he said.
Fayose appealed to the minister and other government officials not to allow themselves to be used against the people.
The governor said the EFCC’s invitation to contractors was a deliberate attempt to cause problems in the state.
“This state has been running peacefully well supporting Governor Fayose. If this is a political attempt to cause chaos in the state, it will not stand. I will not also be cowed from saying the truth.
“It is surprising that the commission is probing a sitting governor. We cannot all be in the APC. It is Ayo Fayose and Ekiti’s turn today, it may be another person’s turn tomorrow. We will take all necessary steps to get justice and to have this statutory allocation as it our right.”
Meanwhile workers in the state have asked the Federal Government to release the allocations due to the state and stop toying with the welfare of citizens to settle political scores.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ade Adesanmi, said “We want to urge the Federal Government to consider thousands of workers in the state who have to receive their salaries and take care of their families and children and other sundry responsibilities.
They should not use politics to oppress and impoverish innocent workers in the name of political manipulations.”