The opposition PDP said by talking about zoning ahead of the 2023 presidential election, Mr Fashola was downplaying the seriousness of the allegations levelled against the ministry he once headed.
Mr Fashola, earlier in the week, had told members of his All Progressives Congress to respect the zoning formula agreed upon by the party when it was formed in 2015, suggesting the presidential ticket be handed to the south, a region he belongs.
His statement came amidst an exposé which fingered the ministry of power, works and housing then headed by Mr Fashola for paying N4.6 billion into the personal accounts of some officials.
Mr Fashola attempted to justify the suspicious payments, saying they were not peculiar to his ministry as other ministries make similar payments. He also claimed that his ministry got the approval of the accountant-general to make the payments.
The payments contravene chapter 7, section 713 of the financial regulation of the civil service which bars agencies of government from paying such monies into private accounts.
Meanwhile the PDP said it was “disheartening that a highly respected minister like Fashola has failed to explain how such amount of money was allegedly diverted through surreptitious payments…under his watch.”
“Fashola has failed to respond to Nigerians inquisitions on how he allegedly oversaw such a corrupt system, which points to why our nation’s power, housing and road infrastructure sector had remained in shambles despite the huge resources allocated during the tenure,” a statement signed by PDP’s publicist, Kola Ologbondiyan, read.
“Instead, what we see are attempts to use primordial discussion related to disagreements in the APC to divert attention from the fraud allegation,” the statement added.
“The PDP however notes Fashola’s description of political parties in the mould of the APC as “clubs”, which further confirmed that the APC is not out for governance but a power-grabbing platform of self-centered individuals; the reason our nation has been in a dire strait since the last five years.
“Nevertheless, our party charges the Minister of Works and Housing to leave the issue of 2023 and immediately address the allegation of fraud hanging around his tenure as minister of power, works and housing,” Mr Ologbondiyan noted.