As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.
The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.
Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.
According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.
The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books. How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?
“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.
When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.
“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.
“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody. It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.
“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.
Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.
“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money. We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.
When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.
“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.
Ndigbo Are Not Anti-APC — Lagos Lawmaker
The belief that Ndigbo are generally opposed to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) lacks a factual basis, the lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Jude Idimogu, has said.
Idimogu, leader of the Igbo in the APC, said he intended to help change the narrative that Ndigbo did not like APC.
“The problem was that the people were not being carried along but my team and I have decided to effect necessary changes,” he said.
He said the Igbo have benefitted immensely from the APC administration and will gain more.
He urged Ndigbo to support the ruling party and the Buhari administration.
“I believe that the government would also respond. Once you have a positive mind towards the party, you stand a better chance of benefiting from APC government,” he said.
He praised President Muhammadu Buhari for granting financial autonomy to state judiciary and legislature.
He said no other president had the will power to do what President Buhari did.
Idimogu spoke when he visited Eze Greg Ezebuadi Ogboroagha, the supreme traditional head of Ndigbo in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
It is in continuation of his tour of the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
“I believe that before he leaves office, there would be complete local government autonomy. Separation of power is the beauty of democracy.
“Every arm of government operating independently would deliver optimal services, and improve democratic gains,” he said.
2023: Buhari’s Son Picked For Vice President
The National Coordinator of the Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, (CAGG), Barrister Olusegun Bamgbose has declared interest in contesting Nigeria’s presidential seat in 2023.
The lawyer while declaring his interest also expressed optimism that the North would support the emergence of a Southerner as Nigeria’s next president.
He said though zoning is unconstitutional, it is only fair for the North to relinquish power to another region in 2023.
Barrister Bamgbose also hinted on picking Yusuf Buhari, son of President Muhammadu Buhari as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
The lawyer who is yet to disclose his political party, however, hinted that it is the time for youths to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria.
“The South West will forever remember the North for this political gesture,” he noted.
“Even though some political pundits may argue that the North only compensated the South West for the loss of MKO Abiola, who was acknowledged to have won the elections. Whichever way, the North should be appreciated for such a gesture.
“Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to Yar’adua in 2007, when he died, Jonathan took over. In 2015, the South joined the North to install Buhari.
“It’s therefore politically justifiable for the North to equally support a Southerner to take over power come 2023.
“Obasanjo never disappointed the North and Nigerians, Olusegun Bamgbose will not disappoint Nigerians. As a matter of fact, I’m considering Yusuf Buhari as my running mate come 2023. It’s high time the youths took over power in Nigeria.
“This consideration of mine might look awkward to many Nigerians but it’s because they can’t see what I’m seeing.
“Yusuf Buhari is a material for leadership. I’m blessed with the gift of seeing beyond the physical. I remembered vividly that I once told Jonathan’s Aide that suicide bombing was coming, he doubted me but we all know what’s happening now.
“In 2015 I told Nigerians that Buhari will defeat Jonathan, many thought I was talking nonsense but it came to pass.
“Earlier this year I told Nigerians that a new Chief of Staff will emerge, that has equally happened. Yusuf Buhari is an asset.
“I see him soaring higher politically, other things being equal, he will be my running mate come 2023. He has some hidden potentials which will soon begin to manifest soon to the delight of many Nigerians.
“Whichever you look at it Buhari’s name will be difficult to erase in the political history of Nigeria.”
Bamgbose also noted that even after Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023, the President’s wife, Aisha would still remain politically relevant.
“Even after the exit of Buhari as President of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari will still be prominent and very useful. There is something I’m seeing in her that many Nigerians are ignorant of.
“She is an asset. Nigerians are yet to know the wealth stored in her… I hope to meet Yusuf Buhari soon for some serious political discussions. In all, the North should concede power to the South come 2023. They won’t regret it.”
Tinubu Is NOT My Man — El-Rufai Declares
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has publicly admitted to having a personal issue with Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
El-rufai admitted to this while speaking at a webinar in commemoration of the 63rd birthday of the former Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Saturday,
El-Rufai, who didn’t state the kind of differences disclosed that he’s not Tinubu’s “man.”
El-Rufai said: “I want to congratulate my brother, Ogbeni (Aregbesola), on his birthday. You know I’m your man any day.
“I’m not Asiwaju’s man and you are Asiwaju’s man, but I am your man any day. Asiwaju and I have differences but you and I have no differences.”
There are speculations in certain quarters that both El-Rufai and Tinubu are nursing the ambition to become Nigeria’s next president in 2023.
Despite the speculations which have been going on for a while now, both Tinubu and El-Rufai haven’t come out to either deny or admit to such claim.
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