The Ogun State government this Sunday denied that mr Bidemi Rufai didnot bring any business cocncern into the state during his short stint as a special assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The state government also debunked a news report that Rufai was being paid $2,000 as an aide to the governor.
An online news medium, People’s Gazette had reported that Governor Abiodun was paying $50,000 to Rufai each time he introduced people to him, along with monthly salary of $2,000.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abiodun, mr Kunle Somorin, this Sunday, mr Rufai, who was appointed by the governor as his Senior Special Assistant on Housing, never had any close relationship with the governor, prior to his appointment.
Mr Somorin explained that Mr Rufai, like other aides of the governor, was recommended from his ward for the appointment, and not because of any special favour he offered to the governor during his gubernatorial campaigns in 2019.
The statement further faulted and denied the claims by the online medium that Rufai was being paid $2,000 salary, which according to it is “outrageous and baseless.”
The statement further hinted that salaries and wages of political office holders are fixed by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, adding that no member of the government is permitted to any other allowances not known to law.
Mr Somorin added that records in the state never showed that Rufai, while serving in the state, brought a single investor or facilitated any investment from the United States of America, wondering how the former political aide would then be paid $50,000 for a deal that never took place.
He noted further that Governor Abiodun being a law abiding person and respecter of the rule of law, immediately suspended mr Rufai after his arrest for fraud in the United States and later terminated his appointment, even before his conviction for the crime by the US court.
He said that the political enemies of the governor, who are perhaps not happy with his rising profile, particularly in terms of the huge foreign investment drive and infrastructural development in Ogun State, might want to play up the issue of mr Rufai to tarnish his image.
Mr Somorin, while calling on the people of the state to disregard the report as a mere “attention seeking” gambit, said that Governor Abiodun would rather not be perturbed by the report, but remain focussed on his mission to position Ogun as number one investors’ preferred destination in the country.
He added that Prince Abiodun would not be distracted by the antics of political traducers in and outside Ogun, submitting that the governor will continue to be just, fair, accountable and equitable in the distribution of amenities across the state.
The chief press Secretary to the governor thereby warned journalists, especially online medium to beware of their eminent roles in the society and guide against succumbing to bread and butter journalism.