Chief Olusegun Oni’s political campaign organisation says Oni’s rejection of a car gift from Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, was done in the interest of all Ekiti workers and pensioners.
The Director-General of Segun Oni Campaign Organisation (SOCO), Dr Ife Arowosoge, said on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti that the gift by Fayose was not only inappropriate but morally wrong.
“It is not appropriate for the governor (Fayose) to give out a jeep of about N52 million at this time the state and local government workers, as well as pensioners, were being owed for several months.
“There is more to the car gifts to former governors Niyi Adebayo and Segun Oni to the exclusion of former governor Kayode Fayemi by incumbent governor Ayo Fayose.
“Like other former governors in Nigeria, governors Adebayo, Oni and Fayemi are more or less pensioners, who are entitled to both gratuity and other benefits, according to the laws of the state.
“Governors are entitled not only to car but cars, replaceable every four years. They are also entitled to decent accommodation built for them at the federal and state capitals.
“That being the case, any such presentation to former Gov. Adebayo and the one being proposed for former Gov. Oni, when it is done, can’t be regarded as gift from Gov. Fayose.
“However, to the best of my knowledge and to place on record, no car has been presented to and received by Chief Olusegun Oni yet,’’ Arowosoge said.
He, however, said the same could not be said of cars given to some teachers in the state on Teachers’ Day, which he said were gifts and not entitlements.
“Some commentators have even called the cars given by Gov. Fayose as `Governor’s Greek gift’.
“It is now clear that the purported cars are part of the entitlements of the former governors and can, therefore, not be regarded as gifts from Gov. Fayose.
“But it is important to ask why he is making the cars available to only two of the three former governors and not the three.
“And why is the timing now when elections are around the corner and after spending about three and a half years in office?’’ the campaign team official said.
He went on to claim that during the first regime of Gov. Fayose, he (Fayose) deprived his predecessor, Niyi Adebayo, of his entitlements.
“But when Segun Oni came into office, he treated Adebayo with all respect and dignity and paid him his entitlements.
“That’s an example of how governors should treat each other and their predecessors, irrespective of political differences.’’
Arowosoge disclosed that since Segun Oni left office on Oct. 16, 2010, no entitlement has ever been paid to him, unlike he did for Adebayo.
“As a matter of fact, he was not regarded and treated as a former governor, as his portraits were removed from the Government House in Ado-Ekiti in spite of administering Ekiti state for three and a half years.
“That’s not a decent way to treat a governor who served his people diligently and meritoriously.
“The return of his portraits by Fayose was definitely not out of good gesture, since Fayose worked against Oni during the re-run election.
“But history now has it that Fayose was the first to show evidence in the Government House that Oni belongs to `the club of former governors we accept’.
Arowosoge, who spoke during the inauguration of the organisation’s Advisory Committee, charged the members to ensure Oni’s emergence at the primary election scheduled to hold in April 2018.
He told the seven-man Advisory Committee, which was inaugurated at the “Situation Office’’, to secure 60 per cent of the electoral votes for Oni.
“We cannot on our own alone achieve this feat. Many good heads they say are better than few good ones.
“Apart from your love, loyalty and commitment to Asiwaju Olusegun Oni, we are counting on your experience, good track record of performance and your reputation in the community to which you belong.”
Members of the committee include, Rt. Hon. Gbenga Odebunmi, Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae, Hon. Bunmi Akinniyi, Mr Tunji Olatunde, Mr Gbenga Obayemi who is the Chairman, and Dr Dare Ojo.
Others are Dr Bayo Arowolaju, while the Secretary of SOCO and the Administrator of the office, Messrs Lekan Oyebanji and Fola Afolalu respectively, will represent the Situation Office on the committee.
Arowosoge listed the terms of reference for the committee to include: campaign road map, targeting techniques, data base generation and management, among others.