John Adams, Minna
Former governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello are engaged in a war of words over the $181million Islamic Development Bank loan for the dualisation of Minna-Bida road.
Former Governor Aliyu on Saturday challenged his successor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to account for $181 million Islamic Development Bank (IDB) loan meant for the dualisation of Minna-Bida road.
Former Governor Aliyu said that while in office, he sought for and got approval for the loan but that the physical money did not hit the state bank account until after he left office on May 29, 2015.
The former governor made this known in Minna on Saturday at the flag off and presentation of flags to 25 chairmanship candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for November 30, 2019, local government election in the state.
“I went to Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to seek for an interest-free loan to dualise the Minna-Bida road, but by the time the money came, I had left office in 2015,” Aliyu said.
Dr Aliyu expressed surprise that despite the loan, the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government has not utilised the money for the purpose it was meant for which has resulted in the total collapse of the road and travellers facing untold hardships.
He, therefore, asked the people of the state to challenge the APC government in the state to account for the money.
“Let the government tell the people what they have done with the money because they have accessed the money.”
But Governor Bello in his reaction through his press secretary, Mary Noel Berge described the claim as baseless and a cheap propaganda aimed at promoting his political party preparatory to the 2019 local government elections.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said his administration will remain steadfast and will not succumb to blackmail especially by a political party that mismanaged the state affairs for 16 years.
But Aliyu further accused the APC government of abandoning the security agencies in the state, a development he pointed out had brought about serious insecurity across the state.
He alleged that when he was in government, he held regular security meetings with all the security agencies and traditional rulers and as well as provided them with utility vehicles and boots.
“In the past, I met regularly with security agents and provided what they needed, but now I take a look at their shoes they are worn out. Government should stop lying to the security agents; they should stop promising to pay what they will not pay them.”
Aliyu then asked the people to vote for PDP candidates in the local government election for them to enjoy better life at the grassroots.
Speaking in a similar vein the former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, decried the deplorable condition of the Suleja- Minna road, regretting that a one-and-half hour journey now takes four hours, adding that the road was not as bad as it was now during the PDP government.
Kwankwaso accused both the Federal and Niger State governments of failing in their responsibility to the people who voted for them.
The former governor claimed that the APC in all the states they are governing have failed the people, adding that “they have brought more hardship in the land and the people are suffering.”
A large crowd of party faithful attended the rally.