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Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilorin
The recent payment of some workers’ salary arrears in Irepodun Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara state, by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is a ‘French Gift’, according to the House of Assembly candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Taiwo Awodiji.
However, an aide of Saraki, Suleiman Yusuf said the money was paid the workers to palliate their poor economic conditions, describing it as one of the traits of Saraki.
Awodiji, in a chat with reporters yesterday in Ilorin queried the rationale and timelines for the payment, just as he linked same with politics, urging the council workers to collect the money but vote in line with their conscience.
According to him, “where was the money kept before now? I think the money was initially kept for another purpose thereby putting in agonies the numerous workers who were deprived of their emoluments as at when due.
“Our people in Irepodun should collect the money because it is not a favour it is their right. They should not bend their principles based on it. In fact, I think they should be wiser by now. I think the money was brought purposely for the reasons of election.”
Few days ago, Saraki announced a sum of N16.5 millions as payment for the arrears of some emoluments of the workers of the council.
For Awodiji, “if Saraki is such a benevolent politician, he should extend the same kind gestures to other LGAs in the state. We have 16 councils here so why did he single out Irepodun for the payment?
“He should tell the people where he had kept their money. They should ask for the interests accrued from the savings. It is their right. We are really determined to set aside the porridge this time around for our birth right.”
Yusuf, in a separate chat with reporters in Ilorin, urged Awodiji to face his campaign without hatred or bitterness for Saraki “a benevolent man with a heart of love and peace.”