The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has raised alarm over plans by the state government to spend N2billion to build a new governor’s lodge despite its inability to pay workers salaries.
The party also said the plan depicts the insensitivity of the government in the face of mass resignation of medical doctors over unpaid salaries.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday in Akure, the Chairman of the party in the state, Fatai Adams, said the plan was “ridiculous.”
“While the present administration of Akeredolu has a backlog of unpaid salaries of workers, it is proposing to build a N2billion new government house in Akure,” he said.
“This is not only ridiculous, but also the surest evidence that the governor has completely lost direction.
“Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Akeredolu’s predecessor, built a very befitting government house in 2013, a few years before Akeredolu assumed the reins of government.
“To spend N2billion of tax payers’ money on another government house at this time is the height of callousness and wastefulness.”
He said considering the current economic downturn, it was improper for the government to embark on a project that would serve only a few persons, when millions of the citizens were languishing in penury.
Mr Akeredolu had argued that the current government house was structurally defective and needed to be replaced.
He said experts had warned against occupying the governor’s lodge he inherited due to the structural defects; as a result, he does not live there.
Mr Akeredolu, however, said that he had to involve the best cost-effective steps in the execution of the project, as well as engaging qualified and experienced building experts to work with in-house professionals to carry out due diligence and survey on the structures.
The governor had last week laid the foundation of the new lodge amidst fanfare as he marked his second term’s 100 days in office.
He argued that it was a wrong assertion that the Mimiko’s administration built a Governor’s Lodge.
According to him, Mr Mimiko converted an office into a lodge, adding that it had structural defect and that it would take a super man to live in.
“This state deserves a Governor’s lodge to be a pride to all of us,” he said.
“When Mimiko was handing over, he mentioned the defects and promised to fix it but he didn’t.“
“I called my engineer to look at it and I was told to either bring down the building or part of it. Then we all knew we are going to need a new Governor’s lodge.
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“What we had was a modest three room duplex built by the colonial officers. It was termites infested. It was not suited for anybody to live. My consultant said I should not attempt to remodel it.”
But Mr Adams challenged Mr Akeredolu to produce any evidence and convince the state citizens what defects the lodge had.
He said instead of embarking on the project, the amount should be channeled to building roads and providing health care for the poor of the state.