Former Information Minister and APGA Gubernatorial candidate for Nassarawa State in the 2015 general elections, Mr. Labaran Maku has headed for the Court of Appeal to challenge the decision of the Gubernatorial election Tribunal in Nassarawa State and called on the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give any further loans to Nassarawa State government led by Governor Tanko Al Makura for infrastructural projects but only for the payment of salaries in the state.
In a press conference at the APGA National Secretariat, Mr. Maku lamented the poor utilization of previous loans and funds released to the state between 2011 to 2015. He alleged that the state government has squandered all the funds meant for the development of Nassarawa state and left the citizens heavily impoverished.
He said “As an indigene of Nassarawa state, I sympathize with the workers Nassarawa State because I know what they are passing through. They are facing very difficult challenges due to the back-load of salaries being owed them by the state government. I’m also aware that for primary school teachers, like me, it’s worse. Most of the time they are paid in percentages. Anything ranging from 10-20% is what they receive as salaries
I feel pained by what our workers are going through and I hope that this period of stress will come to an end very soon when hopefully the judiciary would have shown Al Makura the way out given that he did not win the elections.
It will be recalled that Gov Tanko Al Makura of Nassarawa State had approached the CBN for a loan of N10b for infrastructure and additional 8.3b loan for salaries. The Sum total of the loans being sought is N18.3b and many stakeholders in the state are not happy with this development.
“I’m worried about Nassarawa state when I heard the story of another 18.3B loan being negotiated by CBN for Gov Al Makura. I know that some of these loans are being given to some states but I want to call on CBN to withhold any loan for infrastructure but give only the ones for salary arrears because it’s a well known fact that in the last 4 years, the state government has collected on the average about 200B from federation account and we are yet to see evidence of any development of projects on ground” Maku said
Maku revealed that Gov Al Makura had taken 30B loan for infrastructure 2 years ago amidst protests by the State House of Assembly. The state also received over 96B in the last 4 years as federal allocations excluding local government allocations. In addition, the state received SURE P funds, UBEC Funds and excess crude allocations but all have remained unaccounted for by the state government.
Given the poverty of infrastructure in Nassarawa state today, I call on CBN not to give any further loans to Nassarawa state government until a proper audit and physical evaluation of the projects for which loans were given in the past is done.
Nassarawa state is sinking into debts and the future of the state is being mortgaged. There is need for a thorough audit of what the government used these monies to do and I believe that the result will be disastrous”
In Nassarawa state today, There is total abdication of social responsibilities of the government to the citizens. There is no fairness in the distribution of jobs and employment. There is abject poverty and neglect in the state. Gov Al Maukra is running the state like a private limited liability company and you cannot run a state like that.
On his decision to head to the Court of Appeal, Hon. Maku said his lawyers had examined the judgement of the election petition tribunal and reached a conclusion that the judgement is unacceptable and is against the weight of evidence in court.
“Our party APGA is appealing the judgement delivered by the tribunal. We will continue to chase these robbers from station to station until our mandate is retrieved. The time has come for us a people to stand up for what is right. We will continue to defend the mandate given to us” he said.
Hon Maku appealed to the federal government to ensure that the promise of change is extended to the judiciary. He said he was saddened by the fact that evidence of change is yet to be seen in the judiciary.
“I was part of a government that reformed the electoral process. Electoral reforms under Former President Jonathan was very genuine. There are standards that must be improved upon. I’m pained that the tribunal is eroding these reforms”
He therefore appealed to the judiciary to allow their conscience guide them in the dispense of justice.
Edited by Maxwell Ashiuloka
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