By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Some indigenes of Ondo state under the umbrella of the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF ONDO (IPO) have asked Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to disband the COVID-19 Palliatives and Fund Raising Committee and sack his son, Babajide Akeredolu as the Secretary of the Committee.
I.P.O noted that the preponderance of the opinion of the people of Ondo State rejected the composition of the Committee as it doesn’t reflect the best Ondo state could constitute.
The Chairman of the group, Engr. Austin Pelemo and the IPO Secretary, Hon Olatunde Azeez told newsmen in Akure at the weekend, that there is a need for Akeredolu to constitute another COVID-19 palliatives committee to include former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Ade Ojo and other prominent indigenes of ondo state.
Pix: at the Press Briefing.
Pelemo, a former Special Adviser to the governor, insisted that greediness made Governor Akeredolu to appoint his son and son in-law for key government’s assignments.
“Indigenous People of Ondo (IPO)
Consequence upon the Constitution of the COVID-19 Palliatives and Fund Raising Committee by Arakunri Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; the governor of Ondo State saddled with the responsibilities of taking charge of the management of the fund raised by the committees.
“The preponderance of the opinion of the people of Ondo State rejected the composition list as submitted by the governor outrightly.
“Particularly the nomination of Babajide Akeredolu who is the governor’s son as the secretary of the committee and the Auditing company SIAO which is managed by Akeredolu’s in-law Mr Runsewe, a brother to Lakunle Runsewe, the husband of Yejide Runsewe, Akeredolu’s daughter.
“The names which were made public last week in a press statement signed by the commissioner for information, Mr Donald Ojogo has further worsened and damaged Akeredolu as a greedy Governor with the intention to misuse the donated funds.
“With the Governor in control of the Secretary and the Auditors, room for massive embezzlement/stealing is perfected.
“The governor had earlier drawn widespread criticism from many quarters in February when he boasted that he could make his son; Babajide Akeredolu the Chief of Staff and there is nothing anyone would do about it.
“The statement signed by the government’s spokesperson has as parts of its mandate, amongst others, to help mobilize funds, in cash or kind, and manage the efficient and transparent utilisation,” the IPO Chairman said.
Pelemo who spoke on behalf of the group, noted that Governor Akeredolu should emulate other states like Osun and Ekiti in raising funds to cushion effects of COVID-19 lockdown.
“Members of the committee include: Mr. Kayode Falowo – Chairman Engr. Akin Odumakin – Vice Chairman Ms.Cecilia Akintomide – Member Mr. Segun Fagboyegun- Member Prof. Adesegun Fatusi- Member Mr. Babajide Akeredolu – Secretary
While Babajide Akeredolu is the Secretary of the committee constituted by Mr Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Mr Runsewe, the brother of the husband of his daughter Yejide Runsewe, who is Lakunle Runsewe’s brother is also one of the SIAO Partners that will serve as Auditor for the Fund. This is a complete fraud intending to steal the money donated.
“Further to this nepotism is the fact that majority of the people in the committee are from Owo; the hometown of the governor. The Chairman, Secretary, and two members of the committee are from Owo.
“The implication of this is that Arakunrin Akeredolu does not trust anybody outside his family and relative from Owo to handle cash on behalf of the state.
“While many sister states like Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo and Lagos have responded adequately to the need to mobilize funds and human capital in the fight against this disease by seeking far reaching and diverse assistance across political and religious divides, the response of our own government has been largely pedestrian and sheepish; being fueled by nepotic tendencies.
“For instance, while states like Osun have mobilized major religious, political, financial leaders to mobilize and raise funds for containing the spread of the virus, our dear state has limited itself to the visible “omoowoism” of patronising the whims and caprices of the incumbent.
“How else can you explain the composition of the announced Fund Raising Committee set up by the Akeredolu-led government? While the obvious nepotism inherent within this government may be excused away, it becomes ever more dangerous to see that a deeply important issue that has affected the entire world is being limited to satisfying some opportunistic disease of leadership in this government.
“For the records, key members of this committee are not only related to the governor (by birth, marriage and tribe), they have also been known to be business partners and associates of the governor.
“For a committee whose mandate includes managing funds collected, directing funding campaign, sourcing funds on the behalf of government, it is amazing that key administrative aspects of the entire fund management are in the full control of the proxies of Mr. Governor.”
Pelemo suggested composition of new committee.
“It is based on the above that we recommend the Chairman of Elizade Group; Chief Michael Ade.Ojo as the Chairman of the Committee while the Head of Service of Ondo State, Mr Dare Aragbaye as the Secretary.
“Other members of the Committee which cut across party, religious and social lines include:
1 Dr Olusegun Mimiko
2 Chief Rotimi Ibidapo
3: Prophet T.B Joshua
4: Dr Joseph Sanusi
5: Engr. Funso Kupolokun
6: Prince Tokunbo Kayode SAN
7: Chief Akin Aruwajoye
8: Dr Segun Abraham
9: Senator Ajayi Boroffice
10: Chief Jide Ipinsagba
11: Chief Ife Adedipe SAN
12: Chief Jimoh Ibrahim
13: Mrs Jumoke Anifofowe
14: Olugbo of Ugbo
15: Deji of Akure
16: Olukare of Ikare
17: Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria
18: Chairman, League of Imam and Alfas
19: Prophet Samson Oluwamodede
20: Chief Segun Oloketuyi
21: Senator Tayo Alasoadura
22: Chief Pius Akiyelure
23: Chief Segun Fagboyegun
24: Aare Gani Adams
25: Chief Olusola Oke SAN
26: Dr Dayo Faduyile: (President NMA)
26: Prince Jimi Odimayo
27: Engr Ife Oyedele
28: Hon Mrs Olatunji Olawumi Edet.
“We advise the Federal Government not to release fund to the skewed committee previously put together by the government.
“We also advise the private donors not to relate with this rejected committee set up by the outgoing government of Ondo State,” Pelemo said.