Debt profile: Residents respond as Osun Assembly requests clarifications

The allegations made by the state governor, Ademola Adeleke, that the debt profile of the state is N407.32 billion have drawn criticism from the Osun State House of Assembly.

The Assembly held that, as the representatives of the people, it was their obligation to seek clarity in a statement released on Thursday and signed by Kunle Akande, Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Publicity.

“As the authorized representatives of the people, the Assembly has a responsibility to learn more and to inform the State’s citizens appropriately.

“With regard to this, we have given the necessary government departments instructions to provide the House with the most recent information regarding the State’s debt and financial profile as soon as possible.

He urged business owners and investors “not to be scared by the said debt profile of the State.”

In a meeting with the Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers on Thursday, Governor Ademola Adeleke disclosed that the State owed a total of N407.32 billion in debt.

During the meeting, the Governor also informed the monarchs that there was no repayment plan for the loans that the Adegboyega Oyetola administration had acquired immediately following the July 16, 2022 gubernatorial election.

Since the loan was obtained on behalf of the State, he also demanded an explanation from the late governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, about how it was used.

In response, Ismail Omipidan, the media assistant to former governor Oyetola, insisted that during the four years that he oversaw the state’s operations, the administration had not accessed any bank loans.

Omipidan insisted that it was absurd, malicious, and untrue to say that his principal had received loans.

He urged Adeleke to share information on the active lending facilities.

In the meantime, Osun State citizens have responded to the Adeleke administration’s public disclosure of the State’s account.

Journalist and statistician Steven Olagundoye encouraged Osun Governor Ademola Adeleke to focus on governance and administration rather than wage war on his outgoing predecessor.

He emphasized to the governor that he was chosen to lead the State, not to exact revenge on his predecessor.

“Adeleke ought to relax. He had promised he would get started right away. I must say he’s not starting off well if this is what is meant by “hitting the ground running.”

“At this pace, he might waste the support he currently has from the State’s citizens. He is not to engage in a personal conflict with his predecessor; rather, he is to lead the State.

He may be holding on to certain emotions from 2018, but he needs to understand that God and other people put him there; he didn’t get there on his own.

Baker from Osun Abdulsalam Salawu praised Governor Adeleke for taking the actions because he needed to set his administration apart from that of his predecessor.

However, he issued a warning that the governor should not let it get to the point where he would be unable to tell the difference between fighting for himself and serving the interests of the people who elected him.

“It’s excellent that the State’s debt profile is disclosed, but why is he doing that? As a governor, you inherit both assets and responsibilities since government is a continuum.

“Don’t distinguish between your administration and that of your forebears. There is only one government in Osun, and even though it has had various administrations, it is still the Osun State Government.

Omoniyi Joshua, a public servant, reacted by saying that the government’s conduct was appropriate.

He insisted that every action made thus far to inform the public of the numerous alleged wrongdoings of the Adegboyega Oyetola administration was going in the correct route.

He asked the next State governor to build on the accomplishments of his predecessor and fulfill his promises.

“We anticipate the state governor fulfilling his Monday commitment to bring about a positive change in his first 100 days in office. Whatever the governor is doing right now, I think he has good intentions.

He has committed to serve as governor for everyone, and thus far, he has not fired anyone. He has formed a committee to investigate the situation and offer solutions. We are pleased that he has started out this way since that is a wonderful thing.

“We also want consolidating our governor. Get to work, appoint a cabinet, and begin distributing power. The review panels ought to finish their work quickly and compile their suggestions.

The wheel of government must continue to turn, so he should be rigid where necessary and flexible where necessary.

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