How Absolute Power Corrupted Amosun Absolutely (2)

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By Fassy Trent

Newly elected 20 Local Government Chairmen and Councillors are also having a rough time under Amosun. Initially they were ecstatic when he informed them that their monthly security vote has gone up from N1 million to 2.5 million Naira, But to their great disappointment, the LG bosses still receive one million naira as security vote even as the payment voucher shows 2.5 million naira monthly. In other words, the Governor takes a 30 million naira cut from the local governments every month. The 200 Local government Councillors are also gnashing their teeth. The Governor reduced their salary from about N270, 000 to just N155, 000 simply because he has the power to do so and skim the difference.

On the other hand, members of the Ogun state House of Assembly are smiling to the banks now thanks to the 25 million naira kickbacks each of them received from Amosun for approving an 8 billion naira Bond for the state. The controversial Bond issue highlights the hypocrisy and dubious character of Governor Ibikunle Amosun. When former Governor Gbenga Daniel wanted to take a 25 billion naira syndicated loan from a consortium of banks during his tenure, Amosun was among the loud and strident voices who questioned the move calling it a “bond of bondage”. With the active but covert financial and logistical support of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the ACN, the PDP dominated Ogun state House of Assembly was broken into factions and prevented from approving the bond for Daniel.

Now with less than two years in office, Amosun wants to add 100 billion naira to the rising debt profile of Ogun state. Not a few eyebrows were raised when a leader of Amosun’s ACN and serving Senator, Gbenga Kaka questioned the wisdom of the 100 billion naira Bond and asked Amosun to explain to the people how he plans to spend the money. The people are still waiting for the Governor’s explanation. Initially the state House of Assembly had also kicked against the Bond and people commended the members for their strong stance against the Governor.

However, the crafty Governor, on the advice of his Kitchen cabinet led by the Commissioner for Commerce Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (aka Mr. Integrity), came up with an irresistible financial inducement offer to the legislators.

The offer was for 100 million naira each for the legislators if they approve the 100 billion naira Bond. Given the uproar over the Bond, Amosun and his Kitchen Cabinet, which also includes the Commissioner for Special Duties, Kayode Tejuosho, came up with the “brilliant idea” for the House of Assembly to approve the Bond incrementally. This explains why the first instalment of the “speed money” to the lawmakers was 25 million naira since they approved 8 billion naira in the first instance. The Governor and the legislators agreed that by breaking up the Bond approval over a long period, the unsuspecting public might not actually know what is going on.

Recently, eagle eyed security personnel arrested a young man at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport en route Dubai with $7 million in his pocket. An Ogun state Government House vehicle conveyed the young man, who is of Fulani/Hausa extraction, to the Airport from Abeokuta where he reportedly stayed in the Governor’s Guest House few days before his travel date. Go figure.

Nepotism is another stock in trade of Amosun and members of his cabinet. When Former Governor Gbenga Daniel conceived the idea to establish an Independent Power Plant (IPP) for the Ogun state capital, he earmarked specific areas that the IPP scheme would provide electricity to boost economic activities and improve water supply.

The ever-malicious Amosun has since reversed the original plan in a bid to deny Daniel credit for the electricity scheme. However, it is where Amosun diverted the IPP that is quite perplexing and giving leaders of thought in Ogun state sleepless nights.

Day Waterman College is a privately owned exclusive and very high-priced secondary school along the Abeokuta – Siun expressway. Tuition is over 3 million naira per year. For such a staggering amount, parents can reasonably expect that first class facilities would be available to their children including uninterrupted power supply, and so it has been since the school was founded about six years ago.

It was a surprise therefore, when Governor Amosun decided that Ogun state taxpayers ought to contribute to the luxurious lifestyle of the students by extending the state’s electricity scheme to the school. This begs the question. Why did Amosun decided to extend the state’s IPP to a privately owned school while neglecting state owned schools and hospitals? The answer is because on assumption of office, Governor Amosun had transferred his children to the school.

Taking a cue from his boss and since he was in charge of ensuring that Amosun’s children never sleep in darkness in the school, Amosun’s Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties, Prince Kayode Tejuosho decided to extend the state’s Power plant to his father’s petrol station and school also situated along the Abeokuta –Siun expressway.

However, the Oke Ona prince did not reckon that his boss is not really a firm advocate of the live and let live (or chop I chop) dictum. When Amosun discovered that Tejuosho had diverted power to Kabiyesi’s school and petrol station, the Governor promptly ordered its removal from Kabiyesi’s businesses and reassigned the task of supplying the state’s electricity to Day Waterman College from the Prince to his Special Adviser on Power. No doubt, Tejuosho got the message loud and clear: what is good for the gander is not good for the goose.

Amosun’s greed has become quite worrisome to some members of his Executive Council, especially the Commissioner for Finance. The Commissioner joined Amosun’s cabinet from the banking industry. She is a seasoned banker but is reportedly worried about her reputation and the real possibility of jail time because of Amosun constantly dipping his hands in the till box of the state with reckless abandon. She was overheard one day pointedly telling the Governor that she was not prepared to go to jail because of the Governor’s financial irresponsibility and refused to approve certain expenditures that she was sure would not withstand EFCC and public scrutiny.

A low cadre worker, who has over 25 years experience in the civil service said the present administration in the state was, by any stretch, the worst government that he has had the ill luck to work with. He described Amosun’s predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel as a seasoned administrator, a good manager of men and resources who always carried civil servants along and ensured their welfare. “If we knew that Amosun would be as bad as this, I am sure many of us would have had second thoughts at the polling booth about voting for him” Buyer’s remorse?

To be continued

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