Kogi: Wada, PDP Oppose Bello’s Claims On Embezzled N2Billion CBN/SME Funds


Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has accused his predecessor, Captain Idris Wada of embezzling the N2billion Youth Enterprise Fund obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Daily Post reports.

The governor made the allegation in a state wide broadcast on Sunday, May 29, to celebrate Democracy Day. According to him, Wada used untrue beneficiaries to siphon the money.

He said: “This money is a loan meant to stimulate commerce among the youth. “We will recover it back from whoever has stolen it. “I’m not out to witch-hunt anyone but I won’t condone corruption by closing his eyes to obvious cases of outright embezzlement of state funds.”

He said: “We did discover that most of the contractors who rushed back to site when we assumed office had abandoned those projects before. This has led us to wonder what other abandoned projects exist for which the state has made payments and received little or no value.

“We advise other contractors who know they have not given value to money to quietly return to site and complete their obligations. We will not condone corruption where discovered.”

However, in a swift reaction to the allegation, Wada’s media aide, Jacob Edi, in a statement said the money in question was given to all states of the federation through CBN with clear guidelines on disbursement.

He said the government had set up a Special Purpose Vehicle Committee as directed by the CBN to disburse the money.

According to him, the then state executive council also deliberated on the guidelines before approving the disbursement of the money. While stressing that every transaction was done in accordance with the CBN guideline, Edi asked those in doubt to reach out to the beneficiaries who are still in the state and verify.

Meanwhile, the Audu/Faleke Political Organisation has accused the Bello’s government of fiscal indiscipline and recklessness.

According to a statement signed on behalf of the group by its director on media and publicity, Duro Meseko, people in Kogi state are living in poverty, want, misery.

The Kogi State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has described the allegation of diversion of N2billion CBN SME funds by former Governor Idris Wada as another lie of Gov. Yahaya Bello aimed at diverting attention from his inept, directionless and corrupt administration.

In a statement issued in Lokoja while reacting to the allegation of diversion made by the Governor in his Democracy Day Broadcast, Achadu Dickson, Director Research and Documentation to the State PDP, described the broadcast and allegation as a hoax, laced with blatant lies to cover his inadequacies and mis-governance.

The statement averred that no amount of lieing and blackmail geared towards inciting the youths of the state against the former governor would achieve the desired success, said rather than grapple with his image problem occasioned by the sack of over 60% of workers in the 21 Local Government Areas of the State and another planed retrenchment of 14,000 workers in the State Civil service recently uncovered, Gov Bello is busy chasing shadows.

While noting that the previous administration did not only create a robust platform for youths in the state to actualize their entrepreneurial potentials, the employment of over 5000 youths under the YAD4Kogi program for four years and the establishment of the state YESSO office, through the CBN and other social network, are eloquent testimonial of the Wada led PDP administration towards improving the well-being of youths of the state.

The PDP said aside the continuation of all ongoing projects inherited from the PDP administration such as the major road project from welcome to Lokoja, with the road passing through the State Capital, lamented that the few months administration of GYB, has only brought pain and anguish and no gain on the lives of Kogi People.

The statement described GYB as sitting on borrowed time, not merited through electoral votes, said his attempt to draw the immediate past administration to the mud, is an exercise in futility, as the reputation and achievements of the former governor over the years speaks volume.

Rather than dissipate energy on blackmail and crying wolf where there is none, the PDP urged the governor to look at the books and records handed over by the past administration rather than allow his inadequacies and inexperience becloud his sense of governance.

The statement advised Gov Bello, to concentrate on repairing his already battered image, as well as check his financial recklessness, that has caused untold hardship on the workers and citizens of the state despite his accessing of five months statutory allocation from the federation account, N10billion infrastructural Development Fund, N50billion bailout fund processed by the Wada administration and several loans he collected running into billions of Naira from several commercial banks.

The PDP used the medium to sympathize with the good people of Kogi State, for their enduring hardship, patience and perseverance in the face of so much resources the state has collected under GYB, said it is worried by the retrogression the state has made while marking this years democracy day.

The PDP also lamented that the state under Gov Bello, has not only lost direction, it has no feasible roadmap for development, assured that soon succor would soon come the way of the people when the stolen mandate is retrieved.

The PDP called on Govimmediate release to the 21LGC their allocations of February, March, April, 2016 he collected on their behalf and said to have been paid into a fixed deposit account to yield interest.

The party also cautioned the governor to stop the further retrenchment of Kogi Workers, make the state secure for citizens to carry out their businesses without let or hindrances from men of the underworld and kidnappers, a quality the PDP noted has become the hallmark of the Gov Bello’s administration since coming on board, above all urged him to stop forthwith the financial recklessness and squandering of state resources that has characterized the present administration, thus plunging the state into heavy indebtedness.

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