By G9ija

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Ondo State governorship election yesterday asked the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to speak out on the alleged diversion of billions of naira COVID-19 intervention funds received by the state.

Specifically, the PDP is asking the governor to account for the over $10 million received from foreign donors as palliative for the COVID-19 and other funds for the payment of 15 months unpaid health workers salaries.

The PDP said the demand is predicated on alleged diversion of COVID-19 palliative funds by certain officials of the Akeredolu-led administration.

According to a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, “This is especially given the conflicting denials by members of the state COVID-19 response team over the whereabouts of over N700 million intervention fund.”

The PDP campaign described as indicting, that Akeredolu, on whose shoulders the burden of the wellbeing of the people lies, had failed to speak out on the alleged fraud.

The spokesman of the main opposition party said: “Indeed any clean, transparent and upright administration that had not soiled its hand and which has the interest of the people at heart would have ordered an open investigation, secured and channeled the resources to the wellbeing of the people.

“Given its penchant for condoning corruption and wicked embezzlement of public funds, the APC administration in Ondo State had remained less forthcoming, while officials continue with conflicting denials and endless buck passing.”

The PDP campaign charged Akeredolu not to wait till after the election to end the corruption in his administration by ordering an open investigation into the N700 million as well as the truth or otherwise in the allegations in the public space, that the state received $10 million from foreign donors.

According to the party, “This is in addition to the circumstances surrounding the failure of the state to pay certain health workers in the past 15 months, despite their participation in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.

“We challenge Akeredolu to within three days, set up an independent inquiry into these allegations if his administration has no skeleton in its cupboard.”

Furthermore, it said the PDP campaign team challenged the governor to account for the proceeds of various levies and taxes collected by his administration, using numerous platforms to fleece the poor masses, including market women, transporters, artisans, small business owners among others in the state.

According to the party, “It is therefore not surprising that the Ondo people abandoned Akeredolu and pitched their tent with our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), in their collective quest to end the misrule which the Akeredolu administration represents, and no amount of blackmail, threats and violence by the APC will deter the Ondo people in this resolve.”