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Thursday, 28 July 2016 00:33

Game of thieves: Yuguda govt withdrew N1bn in one day –Bauchi gov

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Former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Isah Yuguda Former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Isah Yuguda

The Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar, has accused the administration of his predecessor, Alhaji Isah Yuguda, of withdrawing N1bn from one of the state’s accounts in a single day.

Abubakar said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.

He alleged that the N1bn was withdrawn from one of the state government’s accounts with multiple N10m cheques.

Going by the governor’s submissions, the N1bn was withdrawn by the officials of the former administration who made 100 withdrawals on the day in question.

Abubakar, who constituted a panel to probe all contracts awarded by the previous administration, said while he had not been able to come up with the total amount allegedly looted by the previous administration, the ongoing probe would expose it.

He said, “I always feel shy of churning out figures I am not certain of. All I can say is definitely, there will be great revelations because the little I have seen, for example, I know of a situation in which in one day the sum of N1bn was taken out of one account of the government with N10m cheques.

“Several N10m cheques but I would not be able to put a figure on the total recovery because like I said, the work of the committee is ongoing.”

But the former governor has denied all these allegations.

One of his aides, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity because he had yet to get clearance from his boss to speak officially, described Abubakar’s assertions as part of a smear campaign.

He said, “This has become the strategy of the present administration, it wants to divert attention from its failings. Since it has set up a committee to probe, let them probe. We will advise them to avoid a witch-hunt.

“From what the governor has said, it is clear that a script has been prepared to ensure that the outcome of this probe indicts the Yuguda administration.”

But the incumbent governor said he would probe the immediate past administration because a lot of money that was paid into the coffers of the state could not be accounted for.

Abubakar stressed that there was nothing to show for the N2bn ecological funds which the Federal Government gave to all the PDP states during the last administration.

He lamented that the former administration which was in power for eight years did not do anything with the huge amount of resources that was received by the state during the period.

The governor also commented on the recent directive to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to prospect for oil in the state, explaining that he was at the NNPC to rekindle attention on the issue which had been abandoned for years.

According to him, the Shell Petroleum Development Company and Chevron Nigeria Limited struck oil in the state but left because it was not in commercial quantity.

He insisted that it was pertinent for more efforts to be made to make further discovery in accordance with standard practice.

He added that the multinational oil firms struck gas in OPL 809 which according to him was the fuel for the future.

In his comment on the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, the governor said the party was having issues because it was new to being in government.

He said that the APC governors visited the President on the issue and it was agreed that committees of the party’s governors forum should be set up to look into the problems and resolve them in the interest of the party,

“The APC is a party that has come to power recently. And it has come to power from an opposition political party, and I must confess that we are experiencing teething problems in the APC because being in government is a new phenomenon for us.

“I cannot say that things  are going on smoothly, and that is why yesterday (on Tuesday) we paid a visit to Mr. President and we expressed the need  for governors to delve into the problem with a view to reinvigorating the party so that it can continue to perform the functions of the party in power,”  he said.

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