- Alleges soldiers have withdrawn from check points
- Says Navy also to quit waterways
- Accuses governor of using Amotekun to loot state treasury
- PDP’s ignorant allegations mere politicisation, cheap propaganda – Government
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State on Wednesday said that soldiers manning security check points in the state, especially at the inter state boundaries have abandoned the check points due to alleged refusal of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to pay allowances due to these personnel.
It made the allegation in a statement by its spokesman in the state, Mr Kennedy Ikantu Peretei,
According to the statement: “Over the years, the Army high command approved the mobilisation of soldiers to thirty two (32) strategic locations in the state to stem the activities of kidnappers and other criminals on the condition that the State Government pays a token as allowances to the soldiers. This arrangement preceded the incumbent administration under Akeredolu.
“Unfortunately, in the last four months, these allowances have not been paid. All efforts to appeal to the Governor fell on deaf ears. Also, efforts by Traditional Rulers to plead with the Governor did not yield any results.
“In the last one year, eleven Traditional Rulers have been kidnapped, while one first class Oba, the Oluifon of Ifon was murdered in cold blood by gunmen.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State chapter joins other well meaning Ondo State citizens to appeal to Governor Akeredolu, to immediately pay the outstanding allowances due to the security personnel without further delay.
“The primary responsibility of any Government is the protection of lives and properties, a duty that has been observed by the APC Government more in the breach. Even with the presence of the soldiers, the people don’t sleep with their two eyes closed, what happens when, the criminals now have a field day, because of the failure of the Governor to do the needful?”
Also in another statement signed by Peretei, the PDP described the governor’s excuse for the withdrawal of soldiers at checkpoints ass laughable.
It said: “We find it expedient to respond to the state government’s flat and clueless statement. This would not have been necessary due to the laughable explanation given by the Ondo State Government for the withdrawal of soldiers from the checkpoints . We feel it is necessary in order to put the record straight.
“In the first place, what has been the spectacular achievements of the Ondo Amotekun? Is there no Amotekun in Ekiti State, a juridiction covered by 32 Artillery Brigade, stationed in Akure? Are soldiers not at the checkpoints in Ekiti State? Why does the think that it the Ondo Amotekun that must be sabotaged of all the States in the South West?
“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu should own up to his failure to live up to his responsibility in this regard. Of all the six states in the South West, it is only in Ondo State that Amotekun is led by a man who has no military background . This is not far fetched, Akeredolu is simply patronizing his kinsman from Owo, and using the avenue to syphon public funds.
“Of the whooping one billion naira of taxpayers money taken by the Governor monthly as security vote, we want Akeredolu to explain how such money is spent to secure the lives of people of Ondo State. The money is simply shared by members of Akeredolu’s immediate family at the detriment of the people.
“At this time of the year, every serious minded government that has genuine interest of his subjects at heart is expected to beef up security ahead of the festive season. But what we have seen is a lackadaisical attitude of the Governor, leading to the withdrawal of the soldiers from the check points.
“We expect him , instead of churning out meaningless Press Statements, to attend to the security needs of the people. He cannot be playing politics with security of lives of people of the state.”
However, in its response by the Information and Orientation commissioner, Mr Donald Ojogo, government dismissed the allegations as mere politicisation and cheap propaganda.
The statement titled: “Removal of Military Checkpoints & PDP’s Undiscerning Position”, said: “The spurious efforts of the opposition PDP to weaponise a seeming situation of near sabotage, clearly shows how detached they are from the arena of vigilance. To them, everything is politics and politics must be infused into everything, including the safety and welfare of the people. No discerning group could have bought into such cheaply brandished propaganda.
“The ignorantly appraised security situation by the PDP is an inelegant manifestation that they would rather dance on the blood of innocent South westerners on the alter of politics for patronage than stand firm in defence of their people.
“The Ondo State Government desires not to go into the merits of the flying story about non-payment of allowances to any arm of the military. It deserves no such efforts more so, that, the concerned arm of the military has yet to issue any statement in that regards.
“It must be noted that notwithstanding the politicisation of any situation, the Ondo State Government ably led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN shall not, under whatever circumstances, succumb to blackmail and allow any puerile allegation wrapped under ethnicised platforms to wrought further violence on our people.
“It must clear to all, including the PDP, that, the target is AMOTEKUN. Unfortunately for whoever whose motive is to perpetrate violence under any guise, our resolve to sustain AMOTEKUN remains unwavering. We won’t be deterred in any form. Our time-tested character and attitude toward tackling insecurity even at odd times, shall not be compromised.”