Political aides, who served under the administration of the past immediate Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, have appealed to the incumbent governor, Olawarotimi Akeredolu, to pay them their severance allowance.
The appointees, who urged Akeredolu to emulate his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, who without hesitation upon assuming office paid Fayose’s aides outstanding arrears, despite belonging to opposing camp.
One of the former aides of Mimiko, Nicholas Tofowomo who is now the senator-elect for the Ondo South Senatorial District, described as deliberate the refusal by Akeredolu to pay them all their entitlements.
Tofowomo, who served as Mimiko’s Commissioner for Transport, maintained that the governor’s attitude could only be hinged on political reasons as he sees no reason for the continued delay in the payment of the salary arrears and severance allowance.
“I am calling on Governor Akeredolu to exhibit statesmanship in governance by ensuring that all former political appointees in the past administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko are given their entitlements without delay.
“Akeredolu, who has now spent two years in office, inherited backlog of seven months salaries of civil servants and the political appointees. He has paid civil servants six months salary arrears but deliberately refused to pay a dime to all the past political appointees in the previous administration.
“Some of the affected political appointees are dead because there was nothing for them to fall back on during their challenging period, as their entitlements were not paid by the governor.
“Governor Akeredolu should know that power is transient and government is continuum. He will leave office one day and another person will take over. He was elected as executive governor of Ondo State and not executive governor of the APC,” Tofowomo stated.
Also, Hon. Sunday Menukuro, who was one of the Mimiko’s appointees, explained that Akeredolu should demonstrate uncommon affection and settle the severance allowances to make lives bearable for the former aides.
He said payment would make the affected ex-political appointees to heave a sigh of relief.
“It would be recalled that early this year, Dr Fayemi of Ekiti State paid the arrears owed to ex-political appointees of his predecessor, Fayose. This was in spite of the widely acknowledged disaffection between Fayemi and Fayose – his immediate past predecessor”.
“Dr Fayemi, in demostrating a large heart, did not let such negativity affect his obligation of paying the salary arrears owed by his immediate predecessor. It was a rare demonstration of good statesmanship and leadership for doing the needful”.
“Unconfirmed information at our disposal is to the effect that Governor Akeredolu had promised his friend and former governor Dr Mimiko, several times that he was going to pay us.
“Perhaps, I should add that paying us these arrears will not only relieve us and our families, it will also add to His Excellency’s credibility as a responsive leader whose repertoire of consideration harbours no discrimination against anyone, as he has demonstrated in many of his policies and public pronouncements so far,” Menukuro stated.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi, states that, “They should not blame Akeredolu for their problem. Why did they not protest when they were in government?
“We have yet to finish clearing all the financial mess we met when we came on board. Some of them went away with government property, which are yet to be retrieved.
“We are still undergoing some financial re-engineering in state. So they should be patient with us.”