An Oyo State-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Accountability To Humanity (AH) and Better Oyo Movement (BOM) have jointly warned the electorates in Oyo State not to be lured into voting for another four years of hardship as currently being experienced under the PDP Seyi Makinde led government in the State.
The groups said this warning became imperative in view of the fact that it has come to their notices that the governor of the state, Seyi Makinde had last week approved Twelve Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N12,750,000) for each local government to commence empowerment of market women, widows and students across the 33 local council areas.
The groups said they were surprised that Makinde who didn’t do such empowerment for over three years in office is now using the state money for what they termed “vote buying” before elections.
The groups in their separate statements issued and signed by Ade Alade AH Coordinator and Dr Femi Fakunle, Chairman and Engr. Tunji Secretary Better Oyo Movement and made available to journalists in Ibadan, the state capital, the groups wondered why the state government which failed to make the local government’s fund available to the council Chairmen now using the money to buy vote ahead of elections.
According to them, “the vote-buying is not limited to the market men and women alone, it also extended to traditional rulers by increasing their salaries and also increasing the subvention of tertiary institutions in the state which was not done for over three years.
We are watching with keen interest in the way Oyo government is wasting resource all because of desperation for the second term. This is unacceptable in a saner clime. People are watching even from outside the state. Why buying vote ahead of election if you have done well in the almost four years in office?
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have made any comment on this development but we are compel to react because we are concerned about the future of our dear state. Our people should be more concerned about the next four years in Oyo state. This government has proved that politicians are enemies of the masses and for Nigeria to be great, we must all speak up against such policies,” the statement reads.
“We’re indeed alarmed at this deliberate display of wickedness by a government which had always postured as pro-people and advertised everyday business of government as exclusive achievements, now empowering market women, widows and students, two months to another election wherein the governor is a jittery and nervous participant.
“Indeed, this last-minute approval shouldn’t even be celebrated in normal climes, as this should have been what local councils should have continually done since 2019.
But since Governor Makinde chose to be the purse and allocator of the legitimate funds of local councils, to the point where purchases by councils as far as Irepo, Kishi, have to be allocated from Agodi, Ibadan, thus castrating this all-important segment of the society, this kind last-minute, fence-mending, vote-buying strategy cannot but be emplaced, the group noted.
The groups, however, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other related anti graft agencies to begin probing the funds released by the Oyo State government from December, 2022 till after the 2023 general elections.
Similarly, BOM condemned, in its entirety, the viral video wherein primary school pupils were made to sing in defence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noting that such a trend, if encouraged, would erode the innocence of these young ones; pushing them into the murky waters of dirty politics, which appears unnecessary, at this point in time.
“We can only urge whomsoever is behind this childish act to desist from doing so, in the interest of all stakeholders,” BOM contended.
Reminding the Governor that no amount of vote-buying or manipulation can save him from the impending electoral doomsday, BOM argued that; “even if he opens the entire vault of the Oyo State government, his rejection at the polls by the good people of Oyo State remains unshaken, and shall be actualized on Saturday, 11 March, 2023”. The statement concluded.