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We’ve embraced peace —Ondo EXCO

By Adekola Afolabi

Members of Ondo State Executive Council on Thursday confirmed that they have all resolved to embrace peace in line with the resolutions reached during the meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja a week ago, in the interest of the development of the state.

Briefing journalists shortly after the State Executive Council meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, also debunked the rumours making the rounds that the signature of the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, was forged by some people to allegedly loot the state.

She emphasised that nothing of such happened, even as she warned purveyors of fake news on social media to desist in the interest of peace and development of the state.

The Commissioner revealed that Governor Akeredolu has been signing and treating files by himself, emphasising that nobody is looting the state Treasury or forging the Governor’s signature.

This is the first EXCO meeting to be presided over by the Deputy Governor since the return of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to the country after his medical vacation abroad.

Other issues discussed at the EXCO meeting, according to the State image maker included palliatives to the vulnerable people.

She listed the key decisions reached in Abuja, and discussed at the meeting to include, “that there must be peace, and all parties must embrace peace, that status quo should remain in the state, that the Governor is still Governor and the Deputy Governor is the Deputy Governor. That there should be no dissolution of the state executive council, that the party structures should not be touched in the state, that the leadership of the State House of Assembly should remain intact, that the President requested for letter of resignation from the Deputy Governor, signed but undated.

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“We especially took note of people who had concerns about how the money for palliatives was spent. The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning explained why it was placed under Contingent Sub-head because it was not initially envisaged that fuel subsidy would be withdrawn when this budget was drafted last year.

“So, according to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, it has to be done that way, until we  get the fund and appropriate it in a proper way. To date, I have always come before you to inform you about what we are doing with palliatives. It is on record that the government is working because we were able to buy food items and disbursed to our people.

“We have disbursed two tranches of palliatives (food items) to our people. At the first time, at least 1, 200 bags of rice went to reach local government. Some local governments that are bigger with two State constituencies like Akure South got bigger shares of the rice.

“At the second tranche, we distributed some rice, food packs containing, staple items like Pupuru, garri, yam flour, beans among others. We embarked on repairing buses and deployed 76 buses across all local government areas in the state to convey students to and from schools free. And in our riverine areas, we refurbished and bought new boats and equiped the students with live jackets in the Riverine areas.

“In addition, we have placed order for brand new buses and we are receiving them. Our pensioners are enjoying N10,000 each as palliatives since August.

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“We are also pleased to announce to you that agreement has been reached with labour leaders on the N35, 000 wage award, and the money will be paid this month. It was discussed at the EXCO.

“Then, we discussed the Abuja peace agreement reached with our leader, our President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Just as it was done in the State House of Assembly, we discussed the resolutions reached, the key decisions made by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with members.  And the key decisions were spelt out for those who were not there, the Commissioner added.

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