John Adams, Minna
Former governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Governor Abubakar Sani Bello are in war of words over the $181million Islamic Development Bank (IDB) loan obtained for the dualization of Minna-Bida road.
Dr. Aliyu, who spoke at the presentation of flags to 25 chairmanship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 30, local government election held in Minna on Saturday demanded that Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who succeeded him, account for the $181 million IDB road project loan.
The former governor said, while in office, he sought got approval for the loan from the islamic bank, but that the money did not hit the state account until the expiration of his tenure. Dr Aliyu expressed surprise that despite the loan, Governor Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has not been able to judiciously use the money leading to the total collapse of the road and the attendant hardship on commuters.
“I went to Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to seek for interest free loan to dualize Minna-Bida road, but by the time the money came I had left office in 2015. Let the government tell the people what they have done with the money because they have accessed the money,” said Aliyu.
The former governor also accused the APC government of abandoning security agencies in the state, a development that has led to a collapse of security in the state.
Aliyu said as governor, he held regular meetings with all heads of security agencies and traditional rulers and provided them with the right equipment to combat crime.
“I meet regularly with security agents and provide what they need, 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,” he said.
Aliyu, who solicited votes for the PDP candidates on the local government election, promised the people will enjoy better life at the grassroots with the party candidates as winners.
Governor Bello in his reaction through his spokesperson, Mary Noel Berge, however described the allegation as baseless and cheap propaganda, maintaining his administration will will not succumb to blackmail from a political party that mismanaged the state for the 16 years it was in power.
Meanwhile, former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has decried the deplorable condition of the Suleja- Minna road saying a one and half hour journey now takes four hours on the road.
Kwankwaso accused both Niger state and federal governments of negligence on the road saying it wasn’t that bad now during the reign of the PDP.
The former governor claimed government has failed in all APC governed states, adding “they have brought more hardship in the land and the people are suffering.”