Wednesday, 8th February 2023
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

PDP flays Katsina govt’s plan to spend N500m on Buhari’s visit

By Danjuma Michael, Katsina
25 January 2023   |   4:03 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State has condemned plans by All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state to spend about N500 million on President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit.

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari. Photo: TWITTER/GOVERNORMASARI

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State has condemned plans by All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state to spend about N500 million on President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit.

According to the opposition party, such money should have been channelled to address socio-economic challenges in the state, as well as insecurity, low education and health standard, and not on frivolous hosting.

Buhari, who is scheduled to be in the state on January 26 and 27, is expected to commission projects executed by the state government.

But a leaked government letter indicated that the state had approved N499.65 million from local council funds domiciled in the Joint Account, for the purpose of mobilising residents to welcome the President to the state.

In the letter written on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Katsina, by one Yahuza Ibrahim, to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, N14,695,588 is to be released to each of the 34 local councils for “effective mobilisation of citizens” to welcome the President.

The letter reads: “l am directed to refer to your letter No. /MLGCA/GEN/259/C/IV of January 17, 2023 and to convey the approval of the governor for the release of N14,695,588 to each of the 34 local councils totalling N499.65 million from the available balance of the councils in the Local Government Joint Account to enable them cater for adequate and effective mobilisation of citizens to receive Mr. President during an official visit to Katsina from January 26 to 27, 2023.”

Speaking to newsmen yesterday on behalf of the PDP, the Chairman, Atiku/Lado Integrity Forum, Lawal Yar’Adua, described the development as shocking, and possible plan to divert public funds by the APC government.

Yar’Adua said the money should have been used to help residents affected by insecurity, including scores of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

He said the education, health and related sectors were not doing well, and that such money should be used to address the problems, instead.

“I am sure that if Buhari gets to hear that such money is to be spent on his visit, he would definitely frown on it, as it goes against his anti-corruption policy,” he said.

When contacted, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ya’u Gwajo-Gwajo, dismissed the allegation as mere speculation.

Gwajo-Gwajo said monies meant for the local councils in the join account were intact, and that he was not aware there had been any letter authorising withdrawal from the said funds.