Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has urged government officials who served during the administration of Abiola Ajimobi to return all government vehicles in their custody.
'I use my car for official duties,' Makinde tells Ajimobi's aides to return govt vehicles
Governor Mankinde says Ajimobi's commissioners and aides took government cars like gifts from Father Christmas.
In a statement, Makinde's chief press secretary, Taiwo Adisa, alleged that Ajimobi's commissioners and aides took the government cars like gifts from Father Christmas.
He noted that during Makinde's inauguration as governor of Oyo state on May 29, 2019, the planning committee encountered difficulties in getting him an official car for the event.
He noted that 19 cars have, so far, been recovered from persons who worked under his predecessor.
“The incumbent Government in Oyo State issued an ultimatum to officials of the immediate past administration who illegally carted away government vehicles and other properties to return such or risk being reported to the security agencies," the statement said.
"The decision was informed by the monumental impunity the new administration in the state has uncovered so far. Even on inauguration day, it was so bad that the inauguration committee had to scamper here and there to source vehicles for the new Governor and his deputy.
"As we speak, Governor Makinde and his deputy are compelled to rely on their personal vehicles for use as convoy cars in the discharge of their duties.
"The same is true of other government officials appointed so far.
'And that is despite the records which show that huge sums were expended on the purchase of new cars in the last year of the immediate past administration. Indeed, a number of such cars were purchased about three months to the end of that government.
'This government will not permit anyone to mix up facts in an attempt to defend a strange tradition of 'vultures in governance' which is diametrically opposed to the service agenda of the Makinde administration.
"There is a clear difference when a vehicle is boarded and the appropriate amount paid. The records at the disposal of government clearly demarcate the illegally taken cars from the boarded vehicles.
"We also make bold to state that the officials charged with recovery of the said cars and the security operatives have so far been very civil in their procedures and no fewer than 19 cars have been recovered.
'Television cameras were on the toe of the officials who recovered the last set of five vehicles and those who took the cars away are well documented.
'There is no government instrument or law of the State House of Assembly that permits vehicles to be taken away 'free of charge' or in the exercise of 'discretionary powers' as shown in a memo elements of the past government secretly leaked in a bid to blackmail the incumbent government.
"Because the government in place in Oyo is all about probity, openness, and accountability, it will not condone attempts to seize public property or distribute them like a father Christmas in the twilight of his trade.
"It is disheartening that some persons who have had the opportunity of serving our Dear state, a state of Omoluabi would openly defend any absurdity or propensity to loot government property in a manner that debases the true Omoluabi culture that defines us here," he said.
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