By Adekola Afolabi
The Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday debunked the rumour making the rounds that the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is using the money meant for payment of salaries of civil servants in the state to purchase vehicles for the 26 lawmakers in the Assembly.
Reacting to the rumour on behalf of the House at the Assembly Complex, the Deputy’ Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju, said the purchase of the vehicles in question would be financed in partnership with some financial institutions and does not in any way affect the payment of salaries of workers in the state.
The State Executive Council led by the Governor had last week approved the purchase of 26 vehicles for the 26 lawmakers in the Assembly.
He cautioned those who he referred to as agents of opposition to desist from making frivolous and unfounded rumours capable of causing ill feelings in the state.
According to him, since the government gave approval to the purchase of the vehicles, some disgruntled elements have started spreading unfounded rumour.
The Deputy Speaker described official vehicles for the lawmakers as their constitutional rights and privileges necessary to facilitate their constitutional duties and functions.
According to him, the purchase of official vehicles for the legislators was long overdue, stating that for about two and a half years, all the lawmakers have been using their personal vehicles to perform their official duties.
“It is unfortunate that some people out there are making hues and cries all over about the state government approval of the purchase of these vehicles. The vehicles are part of our rights and privileges.
“Ordinarily, on the day of our inauguration, the government ought to have provided new vehicles that meet up with the new development of our offices and the keys of the cars be given to us on the day of our inauguration.
“But unfortunately, for about two and a half years now that we had been inaugurated, vehicles have not been provided for us; some of us have been using okada (motorcycles) to perform their constitutional duties within and outside the Assembly and nobody talked then”, he stressed.
Iroju particularly lauded Governor Akeredolu for magnanimously approving the purchase of the official vehicles for the lawmakers.
He also described the relationship between the Legislature and the Executive arms of government as cordial and robust, promising continued synergy between the two arms of government for the development of the people and the state in general.