Ajimobi : Why We Can’t Pay Political Appointees

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Jul 11, 2011 No Comments ›› ACN (ji)

The May and June salaries of all political office holders in Oyo State, including former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, his aides, current governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his aides, are yet to be paid because, after the payment of the May minimum wage of N18, 000, there was nothing left to pay political office holders.

This was the submission of the Senior Special Assistant to Ajimobi on Public Communication, Dr. Festus Adedayo, while reacting to a statement signed by the spokesman to the former governor of the state.

According to him, Alao-Akala has no moral right to berate his successor for non-payment of his last May salary when, in contravention of an injunction, he flagrantly paid himself and his aides a stupendous 300 per cent of his annual salary, which equals three-year salary, as severance package, leaving the treasury dry.

The statement alleged that the lack of prudence in the management of funds by the Alao-Akala government had literally brought the state on its canvass.

It further stated that the former governor did not only disregard a lawful court judgment obtained by some retired judges in the state an injunction stopping him from paying either himself or his political office holders their severance allowance, the governor  emptied the treasury to pay a package which, in law, was supposed to be paid by the incoming government.

According to  Ajimobi’s aide, payment of the May salary in the state came in the heat of labour agitations for increment of salaries and due to the paucity of funds and the governor’s decision to prioritize payment of the increment as agitated by workers, there was no money left to pay political office appointees.

“After paying civil servants the N18, 000 minimum wage, the state government could not pay political office appointees their salaries, including Ajimobi himself and his aides who, since their appointments, have not earned a dime in salary. The Alao-Akala mouthpiece can always confirm the veracity or otherwise of this assertion from the treasury,” the release said.

The governor’s aide attributed the former governor’s wolf cry to either mischief, ignorance or combination of both since this information was public knowledge in the state.

Speaking further, he said this also affected some local governments in the state which, after paying the mandatory N18, 000 minimum wage in the May salary, there was little or no fund left for them to pay political appointees their salaries.

He said even when the salary issue was sorted out and government was ready to pay both the former government’s appointees and the current ones, the government would still have to ascertain the true figure of Alao-Akala’s political appointees.

According to him, the figure bequeathed to the current government on the former governor’s Special Assistants, “for instance”, was so unwieldy and unreliable that it keeps oscillating from 24 to 73, stating that “I doubt if the current government would be ready to funnel non-existent funds into such drain.”

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