Politics

October 12, 2023

N10bn: Kwara Gov AbdulRazaq faults PDP’s allegation

AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has responded to claims by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that his administration inherited over N10bn from the former administration and that the current government has kept some N17.2bn of the bond the government recently accessed in a secret bank without using same for any projects.

In a statement responding to the claims which were made at a press conference in Ilorin on Tuesday, the chief press secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye said:

“My colleagues in the media have asked me to respond to the Kwara PDP’s press conference of today, October 10, 2023. There is hardly anything to respond to other than to project the party for what it is: a band of dishonest politicians who remain stuck in the past.

“The best way to know the real characters of the PDP is to interrogate their different statements on the same issue of how much they left in the coffers on May 29, 2019.

“On May 29, 2019, former Governor Abdulfatahi Ahmed said in his handover note read by the Head of Service that the administration left a total sums of N5bn in the treasury which, according to them, was the tax refund from the Federal Government that the EFCC froze. Of course, the exact amount that came to Kwara State was actually N4.8bn as we have consistently mentioned.

“On January 20, 2023, as it desperately churned out lies, a PDP chieftain and former commissioner said in an interview that their administration left N8.5bn in the treasury.

“Today, October 10, 2023, at their press briefing, the PDP chairman Hon. Babatunde Mohammed said they actually left over N10bn in the treasury. Which of these three conflicting figures is right? He, of course, conveniently omitted that their administration left a public debt of at least N100bn, including the dollar component.

“These mind-boggling inconsistencies and barefaced falsehood typify the character of Kwara PDP yesterday and today, and it is the reason Kwarans are so glad to have rejected them back-to-back in two electoral cycles.

“There is no surprise therefore that a party that keeps changing figures of its own regime in a barefaced show of dishonesty cannot truly represent the financial record of another administration, regardless of the fact that such records of finances are a click away on the state government’s official website where budget implementation reports are constantly uploaded and acknowledged to be very credible by different pro-transparency organisations.

“While it actually applied for N35bn bond and was adjudged healthy enough to get even more, the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq actually accessed a total sums of N27.260bn in 2021. This fact is everywhere in the media. The projects for which the bond is being used for have been repeatedly reported in the media, and they include the long-commissioned 11.1km Osi-Obbo Aiyegunle road, the ready-for-commissioning garment factory, General Tunde Idiagbon Flyover, Sugar Film Factory, which has Nigeria’s first-ever sound stage, Innovation Hub, Visual Arts Centre, long-commissioned Gbugbu International Market (Phase 1), Industrial Park Eiyenkorin (Phase 1), Ilesha Baruba and Osi campuses of the Kwara State University, Yebumot Adeta Oloje Road, 33km Ilesha Gwanara Road, Shea nut processing factory (Kaiama), rehabilitation of water works including Offa, Erin Ile, Asa Dam, and Afon, etc, and a couple of other township roads.

“A few of these projects are completed while many of them are ongoing and are steadily being funded through the bond as they hit different milestones. In a media exposure early 2022, the Governor said only N10bn of the N27.260bn had been spent on the ongoing projects and that the money was being disbursed to contractors handling the projects as they are certified due for next payment. It speaks to the ‘brilliance’ of Kwara PDP that they expected that the N17.260bn that was in the bank for ongoing projects in early 2022 — which are expected to be paid for as they hit different stages — is just lying there unused. But psychologists have rightly posited that depraved minds often see every other person in their own image — after all, the PDP never executed a couple of the projects it listed on their bonds as far back as 2009, including the much-touted industrial park. Our own industrial park is under construction and can be seen by all at Eiyenkorin, not like their own nonexistent one that was fraudulently listed in their bond.

“The Kwara PDP is today no more than a band of mostly lousy and dishonest politicians who have no respect for the people in their public statements, such as dishing out outright falsehood. The party and its idols belong in the political dustbin of history. And no amount of fake political re-engineering can save the party if it does not abandon its lying ways — a culture that its so-called new breeds appear to have taken to a new height to the chagrin of serious minded members of the public.”