The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has condemned the move by the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu to build another Governor's Lodge.
The opposition party alleged that it was aware that the sum of N2 billion had been earmarked for the new governor's lodge, describing it as not only wasteful but also ridiculous.
Last Friday, Akeredolu laid the foundation of a new Governor's Lodge at the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure.
He had explained that the one built by his predecessor, Olusegun Mimiko has several defects which pose a huge threat to human lives.
He also noted that the building appears to be weak and may collapse anytime.
But, while speaking with journalists in Akure on Thursday, the State PDP Chairman, Fatai Adams said the construction of a new lodge was a waste of the state's resources.
He also explained that the fund earmarked for the lodge should have been used to build meaningful infrastructure for the benefit of the people and not a few in government.
According to him, the government of Akeredolu has lost direction if it's proposing a new governor's lodge while it has a backlog of unpaid salaries of workers and also owes health workers in the state.
Adams also lamented the mass resignation of over 100 medical doctors in the state due to the inability of the government to pay their salaries and allowances.
He said, "While the present administration of Akeredolu has a backlog of unpaid salaries of workers, it is proposing to build a N2 billion Governor's Lodge in Akure.
"This is not only ridiculous but the surest evidence that the governor has completely lost direction. Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Akeredolu's predecessor built a befitting Governor's Lodge in 2013, a few years before Akeredolu assumed the reins of government.
"To spend N2 billion of taxpayers' money on another Governor's Lodge at this time is the height of callousness and wasteful.
"The N2 billion can be used in building infrastructures like roads, schools, and reconstruction of the dilapidated hospitals in the state.
"For instance, the money for the construction of this new governor's lodge can also be used in repairing school buses that had been off the road for a while now.”
In its reaction, the state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said the criticism by the PDP did not come as a surprise.
He accused the previous PDP-led government in the state of leaving for his administration seven months of unpaid salaries.
The statement titled 'New Governor's Lodge & PDP's Rough Path,' said, "Among others, the position of the opposition party had thrived at an inclement path of a fruitless incitement as it incredulously, suggested that Ondo State does not need a befitting Governor's Lodge.
"It is a conceded fact that an opposition party is at liberty to criticise any Government including of course, the indiscretional display of ignorance on issues of governance.
The misplaced allusion to the Governor's Lodge as well as the weak nexus between same and the issue of salaries betrays an unpardonable amnesia on the part of a politcal party. It becomes immeasurably uncanny if such party had left the stage with the most uncharitable legacy of 'unpaid seven months salaries'.
"Perhaps, PDP deserves to know that the envisioned Governor's Lodge is among the plethora of iconic projects targeted with the yet-to-be-fully accessed BOND. Suggesting therefore, that Government should 'shelve' the project for salaries clearly shows a gross lack of knowledge of how Bonds work. They are, as Special Purpose means of funding developmental initiatives, inconvertible to cash, hence undrawable by anyone.
"Rather than abandon the welfare of workers for months without remorse under any guise, the Ondo State Government led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN shall, at all times, evolve ingenious means to address the issue of salaries in the face of excruciating global economic challenges."