Group cautions Buhari not to entrust Aregbesola with school feeding funds
A group of civil society organisations based in Osun State has
cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against entrusting funds meant
for the school feeding programme of his government in the hand of the
state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, alleging that the money will be
misappropriated by him and his cohorts.
The group under the umbrella of the Civil Societies Coalition for the
Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) stated that already the plan to
siphon off the funds of the school feeding programme which President
Buhari is expected to launch in Osogbo, the state capital on Thursday,
September 1,2016 has been exposed.
In a statement signed by the CSCEOS Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi,Alimi Sulaiman
on Tuesday and made available to newsmen in Osogbo, the group lamented
that the governor has connived with the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo
to convince President Buhari to release funds meant for the free food
project to state governments across the state.
“This is where corruption has swept into the programme. This is where
the project will become conduit pipes through which billions of naira
will be going into private purses. This is where Buhari’s
anti-corruption crusade will be messed up.
“Already, Aregbesola has falsified documents where he tremendously
increased numbers of pupils in the state public schools. He has also
forced cooks being used for his inherited O-meal programme to sign
documents that the state government was releasing N270 worth of food
per child each day instead of the N28 he was given them.
“We can imagine how much will be going off the drain into private
accounts. For instance, if a sum of N270 is being released for one
million pupils in the state, this would be N270 million. Whereas, the
cooks will get meagre amount from this money and the remaining is
going to be embezzled.
“We want to advise Mr. President to allow the FG officials to be
monitoring and executing the programme so as to avoid people of the
state to be shortchanged by Aregbesola and his cronies. Today, Osun is
the most indebted state in Nigeria under the nose of Aregbesola. In
our state, it is the more you look, the less we see with window
dressing projects to deceive people.”, the statement reads.
While describing Mr. Aregbesola as serial and pathological liar and
the most corrupt governor in the entire country, the group insisted
that Aregbesola should not be entrusted with such programme funds at
this material time where Nigeria is passing through economic crisis.
CSCEOS stated that this call became imperative due to the experience of
the people of the state in the hand of Mr. Aregbesola over the
“criminal mismanagement of the funds accrued to the State from
Federation Account since November 2010 till date”, justifying its
position that the school feeding programme funds of the FG would be
diverted like that of N35billion bailout funds meant for the payment
of workers’ salaries and leave bonus with the pension due of the
retirees in the State.
The group also expressed displeasure on the state of affairs of the
state nay Nigeria where situation are unbearable to the masses,
calling on the workers and retirees alike in the state to use the One-
Day visit of the Mr. President to the state as an opportunity to
express their grievances on the non-payment of their seven to eight
months backlogs of salaries and pensions due to them, despite the
effort of the Buhari-led administration to bailout the state recently.
It equally urged the affected workers and retirees to be courageous
enough to use their democratic means of pressure for their home
demands during the Presidential visit to the State, advising the
people of the State to stop the idea of suffering and smiling culture
during the visitation of their elected leaders as if all was well with
them and which it was not well in the nation presently.
It added that “As a voice of the voiceless and down trodden masses of
our people, we would not keep quiet in the face of mis-governance of
Governor Aregbesola so as not to be guilty of complicity, likewise, we
would not close our eyes by allowing our meager resources to be
siphoned by Aregbesola and his allies under the guise of embarking on
a cosmetics programme”