Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Alhaji Hassan Ardo, has urged the Taraba State House of Assembly to urgently commence the process of impeachment against Gov. Darius Ishaku for alleged gross violation of the constitution, fraudulent misappropriation of state funds and incompetence in conducting the affairs of state.
Amb. Ardo, who made the call on Wednesday while interacting with journalists in Jalingo, said that it would amount to great misrepresentation if the House continued “to look the other way” when the obvious impeachable offences on the part of the Governor continued unabated.
He alleged that the decision of the governor to continue to use Caretaker Chairmen for the administration of local governments in the state and non-compliance with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) directive and other glaring abuses of office were enough reasons for the legislature to step up its checks and balances.
“Gentlemen of the Press, it has become expedient that I address you on some of the issues affecting our dear State because wherever we find ourselves today, we are products of this state and the good of the state should be our overriding concern.
“You are aware that the tenure of the current local government chairmen expired about two years ago. Yet, rather than conducting local government elections, the governor has continued to retain them against our constitution and without the permission of the state House of Assembly.
“You are also well aware that the State Government has since inception, allocated billions of Naira under the guise of awarding contracts.
“Unfortunately, we cannot see any of these contracts going on anywhere. Look at the Jalingo/Pantisawa road, Sukundi/ Wukari road and Yerima/Gassol road.
“These are projects that the contracts have been awarded and funds released, and yet there is nothing to show for it. Look at the elephant Green House Project that has gulped over two billion Naira.
“What have we gotten from that investment years after it was inaugurated. That is to tell you it is merely a conduit pipe.
“Today, the southern Taraba has been engulfed in crisis since April and the governor has failed to bring it under control. In fact, it is not out of place to argue that he is behind the crisis considering the scathing remarks he has been making concerning the issue.
.” I call on the state House of Assembly to wake up to its responsibility and commence the process of impeaching the governor before he sinks the state completely.
“Today, several months after his reelection and swearing-in, the state does not have commissioners in place.
“Mind you that this is a returning governor. His inability to constitute a cabinet as it is shown how highly incompetent he is. Besides that, there is a limit to which the governor can spend without the approval of the state executive council.
“How is he spending without the approval of the council. These are all illegalities and impeachable offences that should not be allowed to continue.”
The Envoy also alleged that most local government workers and traditional rulers in the state had not been paid for several months, while retired civil servants were suffering excruciating pains waiting for their pensions and gratuity, in spite the huge bailout funds and Paris Club refunds that the state government got.
Reacting to the allegations, Mr Bala Dan Abu, the Senior Special Adviser to Gov. Darius Ishaku on Media and Publicity, dismissed Amb. Ardo’s statements, saying that the Envoy was only expressing the grief of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had suffered great loses in the state in recent times.
Abu said that the State Government was getting one of the lowest allocations from the Federation Account and had to contend with security challenges that had stalled the rate of development in the state.
“Let me, first of all, say that you are aware that the APC has suffered great losses from the hands of this administration; so it is only natural for them to try to destroy the person at the centre of their defeat.
“This administration has done a lot, and the people know it. Mind you that Taraba State receives one of the least allocations from the federation account. And we have one crisis or another to contend with. So, most of the funds that would have been channelled into development are spent on security.
“Despite all of these, the state government has done very well in areas of education, revamping of moribund companies, provision of employment and empowerment schemes, among others,” the Governor’s Spokesman said.
He urged the people of Taraba to continue giving the Gov. Ishaku Administration the support and encouragement so as to continue to reap the dividends of democracy.