Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, claims he does not use public funds to fund personal or political trips.
According to a report, nine serving governors “squandered millions of naira on private jets” to travel around the country for their presidential campaigns.
In a statement issued on Friday, Yinka Oyebode, the governor’s chief press secretary, called the allegation “inaccurate and misleading.”
He said that the governor only utilizes a private plane in unusual circumstances, and that the cost is covered by friends.
“The unduly generalised report, titled; ‘Wike, Fayemi, Tambuwal, six other governors squander millions on private jets,’ is not only inaccurate and misleading, it is bereft of facts, which made it fall short of the journalistic standard for which the Daily Trust is known,” the statement reads.
“One wonders how the newspaper arrived at the number of chartered flights purportedly taken by the governor in the course of his recent political activities, which it put at 16.
“We also consider it poor journalistic work for the newspaper to assume that all the trips to the states mentioned in the report were via private jets.
“For the avoidance of doubt, while it is correct that Governor Fayemi occasionally uses private jets to get to some difficult to reach places and when commercial flights disappoint, alternative arrangements are made for such trips, more often than not supported by friends.
“It must be stated that Governor Fayemi does not use state resources for his personal or political trips, as these are distinct from official trips.
“While we do not dispute the role of the media to inform the public, we are of the opinion that such should be done with due regard for fairness and accuracy of information.
“We, therefore, challenge the newspaper to provide evidence that Ekiti State funds were used for private jets. Otherwise, we demand that the report be retracted.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi, a man of high ethical standards, holds dear the tenets of financial discipline and accountability in his public service engagements.”
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