By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The gubernatorial candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the 2019 general elections in Oyo State, Engineer Oyedele Hakeem Alao, on Sunday threatened Governor Seyi Makinde of the state with legal action if the Governor goes ahead to borrow the sum of one hundred billion naira (N100bn) loan.
Recall that Governor Makinde had on Wednesday announced his plan to borrow money for the construction of some roads in the state, just as he had last year borrow N7.6 billion naira to finance Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements, in addition to another N22.5 billion infrastructure loan this year.
Miffed by these borrowing, Alao said that he was shocked to hear that Makinde decided to take the N100 billion naira loan to finance projects that could be financed gradually through internally generated revenue (IGR) if he (Makinde) had been visionary, creative and hardworking.
In a statement to journalists in Ibadan through his Media Aide, Omotayo Iyanda, Alao described the move by Makinde to borrow the loan as a way to throw the hardworking and innocent citizens of the state into a perpetual financial burden which might be difficult to be liquidated in scores of years to come.
Alao noted that the loan will hamper the economic progress of the state and comfort of the people, adding that any sensible man should wonder what has gone wrong with a governor who has spoken against his predecessor, late Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi, in 2018, for taking a loan to the tune of N130billion in seven years.
Alao, who said that the people of the state deserved explanation on the loan from the Governor, however, threatened to take Makinde to Court, should he go ahead to obtain the loan.
He said, “Makinde, in just about 15 months in power, has taken roughly about N150bn if allowed to take the N100bn he has decided to take. In the genuine spirit of rescuing Oyo State from a leader who behaves like another emperor, we will see to how to stop Governor Makinde from this insincere reckless and clandestine move via litigation if he refuses to listen to voices of reasoning.
“I will drag Seyi Makinde and Oyo State Government to Court. He should remember that Oyo State is a collective patrimony and an inheritance belonging to all. He should stop behaving like he is the only owner of the state and all-in-all in power. If not, we, therefore, call on the EFCC and the ICPC to beam his searchlight on the GSM businesses and his cronies as related to the awards of the contracts in the interest of the people of Oyo and prosperity.
“It was disgustingly shocking hearing the amount in the bond that Governor Seyi Makinde has decided to take to finance projects that could be financed gradually through IGR if he had been visionary, creative and hardworking enough without throwing the genuinely hardworking and innocent citizens and residents of Oyo State into a perpetual financial burden which might be difficult to be liquidated in scores of years to come and hamper the economic progress of the state and comfort of the people.
“Any sensible man should wonder what has gone wrong with a governor who has spoken against his immediate predecessor, late Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, in 2018, for taking a loan to the tune of N130bn in seven years. What has gone wrong with Engr Seyi Makinde who promised to turn Oyo State into a safe haven economically and increase the revenue base of the state to move the state into prosperity?
“How can a clear-headed leader attempt to take such a huge financial burden considering the debt profile of the state already? How can a leader who is not delirious have such boldness to take such a humongous loan burden to finance projects that cannot liquidate the credit?
“Has Engr Makinde and his team quickly forgotten that they said in 2018 that Senator Ajimobi had put Oyo State into a reckless and unprecedented debt situation in the 42-year history of old Oyo State and making Oyo the 5th most indebted state in the federation? Which one is unprecedented now? His or Senator Ajimobis and which, position will Oyo State occupy in the comity of states regarding debt profile by the end of the Makinde administration if he is allowed to continue like this?
“Even if he must take such a huge loan, the people of the state have a right to see convincing reasons to do so as it is not entirely wrong to take a loan to finance state projects but certainly not the types our governor attached the N100bn bond to. What will be the economic benefits of those projects to the citizens of Oyo State? The circular road project was muted and awarded by late Senator Isiaka Ajimobi as PPP, how did PPP then turn to the Oyo State project?
“We are not ignorant of the worth of the GSM business empire when he declared his net worth to the tune of N48bn and now we can see where the purported N48bn is coming from. We are also not in the dark on the award of the books contracts and some other projects to contractors from the Niger Delta instead of the Oyo State indigenes. More painful, the contracts were inflated. We challenge GSM to refute these claims and come out for public debate on all these.