By Obinna Amaobi
The story in town is that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has turned Ondo State into a private firm, with his wife and children running the show.
Here, the First Family gets all the juicy contracts, so goes the story. The latest of the nepotism stories out of Ondo State is about the end of the year concert tagged, “Sunshine Countdown 2021” for which the state ostensibly paid huge amount to his daughter, Teniola and her husband, Michael Olatunde, to organise.
The amount paid is a closely guarded secret. There are speculations that it could be about N500 million. I can’t understand why a governor owing civil servants will approve money for a useless concert. Likewise, I can’t understand why Akeredolu will appoint his son, Babajide, as the Director-General, Performance and Project Implementation Monitoring Unit of Ondo State. This is barefaced favoritism.
Babajide is now Chief Contractor in Ondo State. The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State recently released a long list of companies supposedly being used by the Ondo First Family to secure government contracts. It was frightening. I thought Akeredolu would debunk the story with facts and figures. It did not happen. It may never happen.
The Publicity Secretary of Ondo PDP, Kennedy Peretei remarked: “Every document prepared for Ondo State Government carries Erudit Consulting. It is owned and operated by Babajide Akeredolu, using a proxy, Ibrahim Ashanke. The Providus Bank, Akure Branch account run by Erudit shows it is all Babajide’s transactions.
“Pentabon Limited is another of the companies. Egimka Nigeria Limited is used for contracting purposes and has same Directors as Erudit, Pentabon and Egimka. The account details of these companies show they are all runned by Babajide. Terrenovo Agro, solely owned by Babajide, is part of the N5.5 billion LPG project just commenced by the state government.
“Claribet Consulting Limited is owned by Babajide and his mother, Betty. The Secretary is Babajide’s Personal Assistant, Damhindi Msendoo, whose name appears alternately as Director or Secretary of most of these companies. Limerite Limited is owned by Babajide Akeredolu and Ilesanmi Ademola (Brainbox). The Company Secretary is Damhindi Msendoo and Pentagon Motusi Limited is owned by Babajide Akeredolu and Damhindi Msendoo as the Secretary.
“Jakovie Energy is owned by Babajide and fronted by Damhindi Msendoo as the MD. Jakovie has been awarded a rural electricity project in Ondo State. For those who think we are peddling beer parlour rumours, it is better to wake up from your slumber to join the rest of us to rescue and rebuild Ondo State. Take your time to glean through the documents. We are not arm-chair critics. We do our due diligence. As critical stakeholders, we cannot fold our arms and allow this to continue.”
Every nepotism and corruption allegation against Akeredolu and his family is backed with facts and figures. My dear Akeredolu, the story is that your children and their spouses are on a rampage, looting Ondo State blind.
Speak up now for the sake of the state. You stand accused of spending like a drunken sailor while the many months of salaries of workers in the state, like those of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo and Owena Press Limited remain unpaid. Indeed, there is massive pain in Ondo State. Are all these companies listed owned by your wife and children? Are they enjoying posh contracts in Ondo State? Speak up Akeredolu, speak up!