Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has cautioned the opposition politicians to desist from playing politics with issues that impart directly on the welfare of the people of the state.
Ajimobi said this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji in Ibadan on Thursday.
This is against the backdrop of insinuations that the relocation of butchers from the state capital to the central abattoir was motivated by selfish interest.
The governor said that some unnamed politicians had been spreading misleading information on the step taken by government to sanitise the operations of the butchers and ensure that high standard of hygiene was maintained in the abattoir.
Part of the allegations against the governor was that the new abattoir was contracted to his cronies and that was why he insisted that all the butchers in the city should move to the facility.
“However, we wish to place on record that the original concept of the abattoir was muted by the former governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala’s administration, which also engaged the technical partner under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
“Also, when the present administration came on board, the governor ordered the review of the PPP agreement which led to a reduction in the stake held by the technical partner from 70 per cent to 50 per cent, while various stakeholders, who had hitherto been excluded, were accommodated.
“Under the new arrangement, the state government reduced its stake from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, conceding 36 per cent to the 11 local governments in Ibadan land and four per cent to the state butchers’ union.
“It is, therefore, unfair and mischievous for any responsible political leader to attempt to mislead members of the public through outright falsehood and deliberate distortion of facts by suggesting that the governor has personal interest in the project and its operations.
“As a government that is completely committed to the welfare of the people, Gov. Ajimobi chose to put the interest of the people over personal and political considerations by insisting on relocating the butchers from the unhygienic environments in the city where they currently operate and which pose threat of epidemic to the citizenry.
“We seize this opportunity to encourage media organizations to carry out their own independent investigations on the current state of the abattoirs in Ibadan and also the new facility that government has provided,” the governor was quoted as saying.
He added that wide ranging consultations had, in the last one year, been held with the leadership of the butchers’ union, including taking them on a tour of the Lagos State Central Abattoir at Oko-Oba, Agege, all in a bid to assure them of the benefits of the new arrangement and the sincerity of the state government.