Iyiola Omisore, the challenger of Rauf Aregbesola, governor of Osun state, in the August 9, 2014 governorship election, says the financial recklessness of the governor has turned Osun into a failed state.
He attributed the inability to pay workers salaries in the last seven months to a huge donation that the governor made to the presidential campaign of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 general election.
Omisore, who was speaking in Osogbo, capital of the state on Sunday, advised Aregbesola to resign.
“Osun is now a failed state because of financial recklessness of the governor. I really appreciate the fact that he confessed that the present state of Osun affairs is beyond him and he should immediately throw in the towel,” he said.
“Nearly all commercial banks in Osun are being owed one form of loan or the other. The matter has reached the stage that the committee of bankers in the state at their meeting resolved that no bank should borrow this government any more. They are also waiting for remittances of their loans.
“To accept that our state must continue to survive on the meagre inflow through what goes to the civil servants alone is to accept that we would continue to depend on external forces for our survival.
“The situation calls for sober reflections. We will look at ways that we are going to help our people in a manner that will not ridicule them.”
In his response, Aregbesola debunked the allegations, saying Omisore is only bent on disparaging his government.
“Given the tendency that Omisore represents, even if Osun were to come under the most incompetent of public administrators, he would still not be the alternative that Osun people want to live with. An Omisore governorship is better imagined than experienced,” said Semiu Okanlawon, the governor’s media aide, in a statement.
“Is it in his obvious lack of knowledge of what public administration and selfless service to the people is or that he represents a party that is actually responsible for Nigeria’s present predicament through its 16 years of misrule?
“We are not surprised that the unpaid salary has made Omisore to find his voice after his fruitless search for a non-existent mandate. We do not expect anything better from a man who at the best of times, still fabricated lies against the Aregbesola administration all in his desperation to get the acceptance of the Osun people.
“Aregbesola is not reckless and the records and evidence abound to establish this fact. The national bureau of statistics, the debt management office of the presidency, and other agencies that operated under the PDP, could not find anything against Aregbesola other than statistics that confirmed how the Osun economy has been improved.
“We recognise the hardship unpaid salaries can bring and we are appealing to our people for understanding and assuring them this will soon come to an end. But that is not to say that the likes of Omisore have ideas that are capable of helping our people.”
Aregbesola has promised to pay the workers before the end of June.