By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described last Saturday’s mega rally organised by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Lokoja as a colossal waste of the state’s frugal resources, alleging that the governor wasted N2 billion on the exercise, at a time it owed 22 months arrears in salaries and pensions.
However, in swift reaction, Governor Bello dismissed the allegation, saying PDP is merely ranting, having suddenly realised it had lost the state for good, describing its style of opposition as lazy and uncoordinated.
Kogi State PDP Director of Research and Documentation, Achadu Dickson, in a statement yesterday, said: “Spending a whopping N2 billion tax payers’ fund to organise a rally that is of no significance to the lives and well-being of Kogi people is disheartening and a glaring show of man’s inhumanity to man.
“We wonder why Governor Bello would dole out N750,000 per polling unit in mobilisation, while council administrators were also directed to mobilise 500 persons at N5,000 per person, when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not announced the commencement of political activities.”
The party said it was worrisome that a governor who was planning to sell off state assets to fund 2018 budget could hire a private jet for the APC National Chairman to attend “the cash-and-carry jamboree.”
The party also accused the governor of diverting January and February local government councils’ allocation to fund the jamboree in Lokoja.
Gov Bello reacts
Meanwhile, Governor Bello said, yesterday, that he didn’t spend N2 billion on the rally.
Bello, who reacted through his Director General, Media and Publicity, Fanwo Kingsley, said: “What PDP is afraid of telling the world is that they have lost the state forever.
“We had over 100,000 people who couldn’t even access the stadium. The issue of rented crowd is an insult to the pride of Kogi people.
“We didn’t campaign. We brought our people together to play an important role in inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to continue beyond 2019. When he accepts our call, we shall follow INEC’s guidelines on campaign.”