Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is a man gifted with the art of stirring controversies. Recently, the governor shocked many political watchers within and outside the state, when he said his government had discovered N150 billion debts within the first 30 days of his assumption in office.
The Oyo State governor, who was the first to publicly declare his assets, said more debts are still being collated by government officials, which would be made public soon.
This is coming as Makinde is working on an executive bill for the establishment of an anti-graft agency to fight corruption in the state.
Makinde, who made the revelation during a media chat on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State to celebrate his one month in office threatened to expose his predecessor, Abiola Ajimobi, if he continued to disturb his administration.
Makinde also said a sum of N1.3 billion seized from a past government official and confiscated to the Federal Government was being pursued to tackle the problems of the education sector.
He summed up the debt to be around $500 million, but said it would not stop his lofty programmes and electioneering promises to the people in four years.
Makinde also alleged that the past government spent about N2 billion on a kilometre road when the topography of the state wasn’t like that of Rivers State.
He said he is still checking files on the activities of the immediate past administration in the state, but so far, he has discovered N150 billion debts left behind by the past administration.
Makinde said: “We have confirmed N150 billion debt so far. We are still working to discover more. Some of them may be questionable. If you take a bond, it is always tied to a particular project.
“If we want, we can do a value-for-money audit. Our focal point is how to strengthen the economy of the state so that all and sundry will prosper. But, I will expose them if they don’t want to stop disturbing us. When we do, they won’t be able to move on the streets.”
Let us take Governor Makinde along the historic lane of corruption in Nigeria, right from the colonial era.
An interesting one that would interest Mr. Governor was the indictment and subsequent removal from office of Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu (remember Penkelemesi?) of the then National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC) as chairman, Ibadan District Council in 1956. It must be noted that Adelabu was simultaneously a minister in the Federal Government. The regional government, controlled by the then Action Group, convinced of incidence of “maladministration and corruption” within the council, set up a commission of inquiry to investigate its activities. The commission was headed by E.W.J. Nicholson, a Briton.
The commission, after investigation, discovered that the council chairman and three other councillors were guilty of “gross” official malpractices. The commission further proved that Adelabu, on three occasions “accepted or negotiated for bribes.” And the Nicholson Report noted that by Adelabu’s personal testimony, he was worth 20,000 Pounds Sterling in 1955. In further indicting him the report submitted that the Ibadan District Council was a one-man affair and not a collective responsibility as officially expected. “…Mr. Adelabu”, the report says, “is in effect, the Ibadan District Council himself, and I believe no decision is made against his will.”
Adelabu was eventually removed from office and the board of the District Council was dissolved by the government of Western region in 1956.
The rest is history… (Daily Independent)