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PDP launches attacks, fresh allegations as Akeredolu makes son DG PPIMU

By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Ondo
19 November 2021   |   3:51 am
Reacting to the appointment of Babajide Akeredolu, son to Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, as the Director General, Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit (PPIMU), alongside 14 new commissioners and seven special aides,...

PDP’s uncanny attacks, lies were expected, says Ojogo

Reacting to the appointment of Babajide Akeredolu, son to Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, as the Director General, Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit (PPIMU), alongside 14 new commissioners and seven special aides, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denounced the action of the governor, saying he is using his family to siphon public funds.

The PDP has described the appointment of the governor’s biological son as the height of impunity and “a flagrant abuse of office and affront to the people of Ondo State.”

This appointment was contained in a statement issued to journalists in Akure on Tuesday night by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, to the angst of the major opposition party, PDP.

Meanwhile, Akeredolu, sometime in March, after he was sworn in for the second term on February 24, 2021, had appointed four commissioners and promised that the other 14 would be announced later to represent the 18 councils in the state.

Among the early appointees are: Ojogo, Engr Raimi Aminu, Barr. Charles Titiloye and Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, who were given information, works and infrastructure, justice and finance ministries; representing Ese-Odo, Owo, Akure South and Ileoluji/Okeigbo councils respectively.

As said then by Ojogo, the governor had submitted names of the 14 new commissioner-nominees and seven special advisers to the state House of Assembly for screening and approval.

The State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kennedy Peretei, condemned the recent appointment of Babajide as PPMIU Director General in a statement titled: “Akeredolu’s misrule in Ondo State (2): Government of the father, the wife and the son.”

According to him: “The name Babajide Akeredolu became known in Ondo state when the state’s funds were used to procure a marriage for him in Colorado, USA, after the same marriage was consummated in Owo, his father’s birthplace. 

“He has since assumed authority as part of the triad of the reign of father, wife and son. The appointment as DG of PPMIU for Babajide, a young man who carries on as though, he was the person voted for as governor is part of the grand design to finally empty the treasury of the state before Akeredolu returns to Ibadan.”

Since the governor’s ascension to power, there have been complaints over his son’s growing influence in government. It was in the heat of criticism when his father appointed him Secretary of the COVID-19 Fund-raising Committee and key player of his reelection campaign last year.

Whereas, the governor had called the bluff of All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the state during the third year anniversary dinner held for party members at the Dome in 2019, he had openly remarked that his son worked more than any of the party chieftains for his victory.

In his usual frankness, Governor Akeredolu declared to the shock of his guests that, “when somebody says Baba (Babajide) is this, I just laugh at them, If I wanted to make Baba my Chief of Staff, he can be.

“Ask yourself, how many of you did more than Baba during the campaign? How many? The young boy (Babajide) was going everywhere and all of us saw him but we decided because he won’t want it. I just said leave him.

“My son is satisfied, that is why, if he was not, I will put him somewhere, there is nothing anybody can do. I will put him there; there is nothing you can do. Is he not my son? Is he not from Ondo State? Has he not worked?”

Not done with his allegations, Peretei added; “Last year, Babajide pocketed a princely N433m as Consultancy fee on N4.3b on the “secret account” with Zenith Bank for more than ten years. Up till this moment, the Ondo State Government under Akeredolu has neither accounted for the money, nor the ten years’ accrued interest. 

“Rather, it was Babajide who addressed a press conference, referring to Ondo State House of Assembly members as “making unnecessary noise” over money he discovered. 

“Babajide’s conduct is reminiscent of the ignoble actions of Commodus, son and heir apparent of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who at age 12, upon finding out that his bath water was not sufficiently heated, ordered the servant to be thrown into the furnace.”

His words: “25% of all the Internally generated revenue in the State goes into the account of Canadian Systems Development Company (CSDC) under one Akin Oladimeji as MD. CSDC is an Ibadan based company that was brought to Ondo State by Babajide. 

“The company was given office accommodation in the Governor’s Office. They do not pay rents, neither do they pay taxes to the government. Every month, 15% of the over N2b that is collected as IGR goes into Babajide’s personal account and the balance is wired to Lagos and Ibadan for the Consultant.

Speaking on the recent protest by timber workers in the state, the PDP scribe said: “Only last week, Babajide was reported to have brought another consultant to take charge of forestry operations in the State.

“It thus appears that Mr Governor and his immediate family are bent on living fat on the lean resources of the people, when poverty has taken over the land, walking on all four legs.”

He also flayed the governor and his wife, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, for lavishing the state’s treasury, revealing that, “wife of the governor, has her own draining pipe also connected to the state treasury. 

“She uses BRECAN, an advocacy group for breast cancer and Forum for Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO) and female political appointees. Whereas, in the past wives of governors put smiles on the faces of women through HANDEF and Gbebiro. “Women and political appointees now contribute money for Governor’s wife through all kinds of under hand tactics and blackmail. Mrs Akeredolu has bought up every buyable property in choice places in Owerri.”

According to him, “It is very apparent that, it is the greed of the first family that is being fed, no longer their needs. Akeredolu, his wife and children must appreciate that, the resources they are wasting in this reckless manner was only given to them in trust for the people. 

“They should remember that, the day of reckoning is very near.” Ojogo, who had raised the alarm at the weekend that the governor and his family were about to be blackmailed, dismissed the allegations by the major opposition party, saying, “PDP’s uncanny attacks were expected.

“One big error in public governance is the fear of taking decisions, and it becomes unpardonably grievous when sound decisions are avoided over what I consider un-resourceful criticisms. 

“There is no way such sound appointment as that of Babajide would not have elicited uncanny attacks from the PDP. They were expected. Ours is to be focused on what we are doing for the good people of the state and not to be distracted by lazy opposition.”

He recounted that “When Jang appointed his son, Yakubu, as a commissioner in Plateau, it was okay for them; what about Okowa who did it in Delta? When their principal’s brothers in Ondo literally did all appointments while they held sway, it was okay. 

“We can only enjoy their gallery-looking dance. They are hypocritical aside being saddened by their antecedents. We are more concerned about the deliverables in whatever we do as a government. In this particular instance of Mr Governor’s decision in respect of the son, it cannot be said otherwise; he made a right decision.” 

Dismissing all criticisms against Babajide, he said: “This young man has been doing a lot behind scene in the last five years plus, to enhance good governance. He has demonstrated enough capacity in many respects. Time will tell as we sail along in full steam.
“I think the problem PDP has is the fact of apparent intimidation that a very sound and balanced second term cabinet has berthed.”