The feud between the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and the senator representing Ondo North senatorial district, Ajayi Boroffice, over unpaid salaries, has yet to abate as the senator has said that Ondo workers were owed salaries of five months because a N50 billion bailout given the state was misappropriated.
“Since this government has reportedly received the inflow of over N50billion in the past few months, why has the government failed to pay about six month salaries and pensions?” queried Mr. Boroffice, in a statement on Thursday signed by his Media Assistant, Kayode Adeniyi.
“The Mimiko-led administration received N2billion from federal government as ecological funds in 2015, for what purpose has the N2billion been expended or looted?”
Mr. Boroffice called on the workers to fight for their rights and demand the payment of their salaries, given that the state government had received enough funding to offset the arrears of their entitlements.
But the state government responded by accusing the senator of attempting to instigate chaos and the breach of the peace by his comments.
The response, which was signed by the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, alleged that Senator Boroffice was planning to cause unrest with his comments on unpaid salaries of workers in the state.
Mr. Akinmade also said that Mr. Boroffice had no interest of the state at heart, as he had previously blocked the efforts of the state to get a refund from the federal government on roads maintained.
“Boroffice’s hatred for the progress of the state is becoming pronounced. Only recently did he raise a false alarm over the bailout funds. Boroffice went to town with a tale of fund diversion and further manipulated the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission to write a report contrary to its (ICPC’s) monitoring team’s findings,” Mr. Akinmade stated.
“The ICPC has written a formal letter to retract the report. The senator’s latest accusation meant to incite the workers against the state government cannot work because the informed and patriotic workers are aware of the inflow and outflow of funds in the state. One wonders the advice Boroffice has for workers in the All Peoples Congress states that have been unable to pay their workers for over eight months.”
Mr. Boroffice however, said the allegations by the Ondo State government were baseless and unfounded.
He said it was a matter of public records he only advised the federal government to thoroughly verify claims by the state government in view of conflicting figures which emanated from the Mimiko-led administration.
According to him, the Mimiko government was yet to explain how an appeal to the leadership of labour unions in the state to defend their colleagues could equate to “deep-seated opposition towards the progress of the state”.
“Also, the allegation that Senator Boroffice manipulated the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission to write a report contrary to its monitoring team’s findings is strange and absurd,” The statement said.
“The claim by Ondo State government that ICPC has written a formal letter to retract its initial report on diversion of bailout funds, whether false or not, is immaterial as it is evident in the state that bailout funds were either diverted or stolen.”
Mr. Boroffice further argued that if unrest was about protests and demonstrations, Ondo State was ripe for such so long as the government continued to treat workers with contempt and refused to halt the condemnable diversion of workers’ salaries in the state.
He noted that some agencies had already embarked on industrial action, even as health workers in Ondo protested the non-payment of their salaries and shut down hospitals on Tuesday.