By NBF News

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Renewal Group in Oyo State has slammed Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala's retention of 123 special advisers on the payroll of the state government, saying it constitutes a huge burden on the state's purse.

The group, in a release in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital yesterday observed that several sectors and effective governance in the state were suffering due to the overstretch of the state finances by emoluments paid to political appointees and called for a reordering of priorities.

'The excuse of the state government that it hasn't enough funds to pay the enhanced salary to striking teachers in the state is ignominious, laughable and criminal in nature. So far, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has appointed about 123 special advisers, whereas the last administration had just 18 special advisers. Out of the 123 special advisers appointed by Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala only 23 of them are performing official duties while others only come to the secretariat at the end of every month to collect salary', the group noted in the statement signed by Folashade Adegbite.

The internal opposition of the party said the governor appointed the numerous special advisers for political exigency, with the belief that they would vote as automatic delegates at the forthcoming PDP Congress, remarking, however, that this hope had been dashed by the provisions of the new Electoral Act and PDP's National Working Committee ( NWC) which had ruled out the issue of automatic delegates.

'The state government is spending heavily on the political institution because of Governor Akala's second term ambition, while the institutions that will bring development to the state are begging for government's assistance,' Adegbite further alleged in a chat with Daily Sun.

She added: 'The rate of unemployment, coupled with decaying infrastructural facilities are more of concern to the people living in Oyo State. Unfortunately, the state government is not doing anything to address these fundamental issues. Most unfortunate is that the people of Oyo State are being ruled by a government that has no blue print on how to govern or administer the state.'

The group observed with dismay the continued impoverishment of the people of Oyo State as a result of the alleged bad governance, saying this has brought an unprecedented untold hardship on the citizenry.

According to her, the extravagance and corruption of the state government had crippled all the sectors including education in the state. In particular, she said that before the advent of the Akala administration, precisely in 2005, Oyo State was rated as the second best state in education, while in the last rating under the governor's watch, the state was rated the third worst state in education in the country, inspite of the astronomical increase in the revenue of the state.

The group asked the Commissioner for Education in the state, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, who was the Chairman of Universal Basic Education Board when Oyo State was rated as the second best state in education, to resign, alleging a deficiency in the present state government's policy on education.