Owo Attack: Ondo PDP questions Akeredolu over N130,000 fees from ‘unpaid’ Workers


By: Kennedy Ikantu Peretei

In the last two weeks, Ondo State has played host to the rest of the world. Receiving condolence messages, men and women who paid visit to the ancient city of Owo, over what has been appropriately referred to as the Owo massacre.

Gunmen (who are still unknown, apart from Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior’s declaration that they were members of ISWAP) attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo with explosives and guns. At the Funeral Service for a mass burial organised by the Catholic Church, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who was in tears remarked that, the government failed to defend the victims.

There have been several matters arising from the barbaric incident. The first was the war of words between Akeredolu and Aregbesola, both members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The second was a tweet that went viral, credited to a civil servant in the State who questioned the call for people to donate blood to some of the victims who were in hospitals in Owo and environs.

What Akeredolu said at the burial service, was a confirmation of what every sensible Nigerian has said about the APC government and its agents. That the government has failed the people is the truth. Akeredolu’s qualification of the failure as “not because we have not tried but because those forces on the other side are evil and they have support” amounts to begging the question.

At least I appreciate the humility of the Governor to openly admit the failure of the APC government, whether at the centre or at home in Ondo State. It is a further proof as to the reason why such an “evil” government should not be allowed beyond 2023.

While the whole of Ondo State mourned and grieved over the massacre, the pains of civil servants came to the centre stage again. This was against the backdrop of calls for volunteers to donate blood to save lives of those who were in hospitals.

The response captured on Twitter was this: “While most children are anemic, parents can’t afford proper medical care for men… prior to this, there had been a crazy staffing crisis. Civil servants have parked their cars due to inability to buy tyres, service or fuel them. We owe tonnes of bills in kid’s school fees and food stuff bought on credit. Hungry people neither donate blood nor volunteer”. In what other ways can a government fail the people other than this?

Teachers in Ondo State who just received January, 2022 salaries on 7th June have been put on notice that, effective from July 2022, it will be mandatory to have a Master’s Degree in Education or a six months training at Public Service Institute, Ilara-Mokin to qualify for promotion. For those without M.Ed, the six months training comes with a one hundred and thirty thousand naira financial requirement.

For this category of workers who are already in a very bad shape, what a very ingenious way of creating hardship for the people. In what other ways can a government fail the people?

Training and re-training are key requirements for every organization desirous of efficiency and growth. But there are always safety nets and welfare packages that make such training sought after. This one being proposed by Akeredolu is ill-timed and the height of insensitivity to the plight of the people.

As much as l share in the pain and grief of the massacre in Owo, this is the flip side we cannot shy away from.

This series will continue shortly. The next, which is series 20 will be a recap of MISRULE from 1-19.

Written by: Kennedy Ikantu Peretei

Ondo State Publicity Secretary,

People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Press Statement

Ondo PDP Insensitive, Dancing On The Graves Of Victims Of Owo Terror Attack

The statement supposedly made by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in respect of the remarks made by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, at the funeral mass for the slain victims of Owo terror attack did not come as a surprise to the Ondo State Government.

The assertion credited to the opposition shows its lack of empathy and respect for humanity. It is an unnecessary gloat that greatly offends the collective psyche of the people of the state.

The PDP, which obviously doesn’t know the limits of politics, is attempting to reap political capital at the expense of human lives. It is politics taken too far.

Since the unfortunate incident of Owo attack, the people of the state and across the country have collectively mourned the departed while praying for the injured to heal fast.

It is very sad that the PDP, in its characteristic manner, has shown that it places politics above human lives. At this time when the state is still struggling with the pains of the heinous attack, the opposition party has found it convenient to scoop political gains from the excruciating pains inflicted on humanity by the incident.

As we speak, the tombs of the deceased are even yet to dry, but the PDP couldn’t wait to dance on their graves. This infantile and inhumane brand of politics depicts what the party stands for.

For the records, let it be known that Governor Akeredolu’s remark at the burial mass for the slain victims of Owo attack last Friday was a sober reflection of the overwhelming security situation in the country. It was a projection of the helpless situation the sub-nationals have found themselves under the government at the centre in a federation.

The Governor’s remark was targeted at the need for the country to retrace its steps and adopt true federalism which encourages state police. This was a call that had been made even since the era of the PDP-led administration at the centre.

It is also a general knowledge that what has come to stay as terrorism in Nigeria today started under the PDP administration. The PDP in Ondo State must have forgotten that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

Nevertheless, we are not prepared to join issues with the PDP over this matter. The lives of the slain victims are too important to us to trivialise in the public space. Besides, government is pre-occupied with deepening efforts at ensuring that those receiving medical care at the various hospitals are well catered for.

As the Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Bishop Jude Arogundade alluded, Governor Akeredolu’s determination to secure the lives and property of his people can not be questioned. He has shown unbridled commitment to security with courage and sincerity.

It is unfortunate that the PDP would refer to the issue of workers’ salary as a way of portraying failure in government. Indeed, selective amnesia is the hallmark of a bad political culture.

The same opposition party who left government with an unpaid seven months salaries is now mourning more than the bereaved. In actual fact, the PDP bled the state dry with an unparalleled impunity. We can only sympathise with them as they are now being haunted by the ghost of their terrible past.

It is not only uncanny but also uncharitable for the PDP, whose legacy of unpaid seven months salaries contributed immensely to the excruciating economic challenges in the state, to raise issues on workers’ salaries.

The misplaced allusion to the Governor’s statement at the funeral mass as well as the weak nexus between same and the issue of workers’ salaries expose the PDP as a lazy party without direction.

We will not prevent the PDP from sliding into this path of perfidy, but we shall not forget to warn against playing politics with the precious lives of the people of the state, and dishonouring the memories of the innocent compatriots who fell to the bullets of terrorists.

Richard Olatunde
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
June 20, 2022.

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